Partial Government Shutdown Slows Endangered Species Act Administration

The effects of the partial Federal government shutdown are being felt at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service"). The shutdown has virtually halted the Service's processing of pending rulemakings under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). As an example, while the comment period on the Service's proposed designation of 370 miles of critical habitat for the endangered candy darter (Etheostoma osburni) -- a freshwater fish found in portions of West Virginia and Virginia -- ran from November to January, the Service has posted only a handful of responsive comments online, with the online regulations site, regulations.gov, having ceased updates due to a lapse in funding. Similarly, the Environmental Conservation Online System, a site providing information on endangered and threatened species that are either listed under the ESA or proposed for listing that is hosted by the Service, is now offline. According to the Service's Contingency Plan, the majority of the Service's employees have been furloughed.

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    Liz Klebaner advises public agency and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters, and she litigates in both state and federal court.  While based in Nossaman’s Los Angeles office, Liz has strong ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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