Proposed ESA Regulatory Revisions Spark Last Minute Comment Flurry

As we reported here, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (together, the Services) recently proposed revisions to the regulations that implement portions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The submission deadline for comments was September 24, 2018.  If enacted, the Services assert that the proposed revisions would, among other things, streamline ESA consultations with other federal agencies and clarify the jeopardy standard.

The proposed revisions sparked a flurry of last minute comment submissions from environmental groups, who reportedly filed an additional 500,000 comments before the submission deadline. Many of these comments were standardized in form and content, and included the same phrase in opposition to the proposed revisions.

However, the volume of comments does not necessarily impact the outcome of the regulatory amendment process. Whether the Services make further changes to the proposed ESA revisions in response to the more than 800,000 comments submitted remains to be seen, so please check back with us for further updates.

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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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