Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat (Final)
Dec. 18, 2020
USFWS amended portions of their regulations that implement section 4 of the ESA. The revisions set forth a process for excluding areas of critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, which mandates their consideration of the impacts of designating critical habitat and permits exclusions of particular areas following a discretionary exclusion analysis. These regulations outline when and how the Service will undertake an exclusion analysis, including identifying a non-exhaustive list of categories of potential impacts that they will consider. This rule, reflects agency experience, codifies some current agency practices, makes some modifications to current agency practice, and responds to applicable Supreme Court case law. The intended effect of this rule is to provide greater transparency and certainty for the public and stakeholders. This final regulation is effective on 19 January 2021. POC is Gary Frazer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, tel: 202/208-4646.
(Federal Register 18 December 2020 [Rule] Pages 82376-82389)