Services Finalize Endangered Species Act Regulatory Revisions
Services Finalize Endangered Species Act Regulatory Revisions

On March 27, 2024, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services) made available pre-publication versions of the agencies’ long-awaited updates to regulations implementing sections 4 and 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Services have finalized joint rules addressing interagency consultation requirements under ESA section 7 and the procedures for listing, reclassifying, delisting, and designating critical habitat for species under ESA section 4; and USFWS has finalized its reinstatement of that agency’s blanket ESA section 4(d) rule, which automatically extends the take prohibitions of ESA section 9 to species listed as threatened unless USFWS issues a species-specific rule. The blanket ESA section 4(d) rule was rescinded in 2019. Advocates for that rescission pointed to the fact that NMFS has long managed threatened species without a blanket 4(d) rule.

Nossaman previously reported on the proposed versions of the rules.

The final rules are expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming days and will take effect 30 days after publication. Once published, the updated regulations will be available at 50 CFR Part 402 (ESA section 7), 50 CFR Part 424 (ESA section 4), and 50 CFR Part 17 (ESA section 4(d)).

  • Derek J. Kliewer

    Derek Kliewer assists clients on a full range of environmental and land use law matters. His practice spans litigation and transactional matters involving both compliance and enforcement.

    Prior to joining Nossaman, Derek ...

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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