DOI and NOAA Seek Comments on Proposed Rules to Revise Endangered Species Act Regulations

On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published proposed rules to revise various endangered species act (ESA) provisions.

The first rule is a revision of the regulations for listing species and designating critical habitat under section 4 of the ESA. The proposed rule would adopt as regulations existing practice, and potentially modify the definitions of “geographical area occupied by the species” and/or “physical or biological features.”

The second rule amends portions of section 7 of the ESA related to interagency consultation. The rule proposes to modify the definitions of adverse modification, environmental baseline, and programmatic consultation, as well as revising deadlines for informal consultation and various other revisions.

The third rule proposed solely by FWS, relates to section 4 (d) of the ESA. The proposed rule states that species listed or reclassified as threatened species would have protective regulations only if FWS promulgates species-specific rules. Thus, FWS intends to finalize species specific rules concurrent with final listings or reclassification determinations and is seeking comments on this practice.  Comments on all three rules are due by September 24, 2018.

  • Read the Federal Register notice and submit comments on the Critical Habitat proposed rule here.
  • Read the Federal Register notice and submit comments on the section 7 proposed rule here.
  • Read the Federal Register notice and submit comments on the section 4 (d) proposed rule here.

Advocacy contact: Prianka Sharma at (202) 205-6938.

Date: 
Monday, August 13, 2018