Departments Revoke Recent Changes To Endangered Species Act, Section 7 Consultation Requirements
The Departments of Commerce and the Interior revoked an Endangered Species Act (ESA) rule previously enacted by the Bush administration. The Rule had expanded the circumstances in which an agency may determine not to engage in Section 7 consultations prior to undertaking an action that may affect threatened or endangered species. In revoking the rule, the Departments were responding to a March 2009 Executive Order in which President Obama requested that the Departments to formally reconsider this rule.
Now that the rule is revoked, federal agencies must complete the requisite Section 7 consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration before taking actions that may affect threatened or endangered species.
The Department of the Interior press release announcing this decision is available here.