Repeal ESA Section 7 Consultations
This petition calls for the repeal of The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) current proposal to amend regulations governing interagency cooperation under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) that has recently appeared on the Federal Register Docket. http://tinyurl.com/3p54kg The Services are proposing these changes to clarify several definitions, to clarify when the section 7 regulations are applicable and the correct standards for effects analysis, and to establish time frames for the informal consultation process. These uncalled for revised definitions would according to the Center for Biodiversity: - Exempt thousands of federal activities from review under the Endangered Species Act; - Eliminate checks and balances of independent oversight; - Limit which effects can be considered harmful; - Prevent consideration of a project's contribution to global warming; - Set an inadequate 60-day deadline for wildlife experts to evaluate a project in the instances when they are invited to participate or else the project gets an automatic green light; - Enable large-scale projects to go unreviewed by dividing them into hundreds of small projects. "We must stop Secretary of Interior Kempthorne from fatally crippling our nation's most successful wildlife law." Further Bob Irvin, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, says, "The so-called “narrow revisions” are just wide enough to ensure that agencies can go ahead with projects without being subject to checks and balances, or consultation. To clinch the argument the Defenders of Wildlife rejoin that: "The Bush administration’s eleventh-hour proposal with barely 160 days remaining in the administration is clearly an effort to secure dramatic changes to the ESA that the administration and its industry allies have been unable to achieve through legislation. The concepts of self-consultation and deadlines that place the burden of delay on listed species protection were both key elements of a bill by former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) that the Senate refused to consider. This proposed rule attempts to eviscerate one of the most important provisions of the ESA without adequate public debate or consideration by Congress." http://tinyurl.com/3j28ds Section 43 cfr PART 14—PETITIONS FOR RULEMAKING allows the filing of petitions under the Administrative Procedure Act. That any person may petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule (5 U.S.C. 553(e)). The petition will be addressed to the Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240. It will identify the rule requested to be repealed or provide the text of a proposed rule or amendment and include reasons in support of the petition. That the petition will be given prompt con sideration and the petitioner will be notified promptly of action taken. And finally that a petition for rulemaking may be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER if the official responsible for acting on the petition determines that public comment may aid in consideration of the petition. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/octqtr/pdf/43cfr14.1.pdf This petition for repeal will be submitted after the public comment period closes October 15th. Lets keep the pressure on.