Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Bush-era rule scratched: Fish and Wildlife, NOAA must be consulted on endangered species

"The Obama administration announced today that federal agencies will once again be required to undergo an independent scientific review if they embark on projects that might affect threatened or endangered species, marking yet another reversal of a last-minute Bush administration environmental regulation," reports Julie Eilperin of The Washington Post. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said "science must serve as the foundation for decisions we make."

"Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne issued a rule allowing government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled plant or animal without consulting with either the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, depending on the species," writes Eilperin. "At the time, Kempthorne said the move would streamline the bureaucratic process without harming protected species."

The Obama Administration's decision to overturn the Bush Administration rule has been met with criticism by groups most affected by the Endangered Species Act. Joe Robson, a builder and developer in Tulsa, Okla., who chairs the National Association of Home Builders, said, "On a 'good government' level, today's action is regrettable in that this administration is rushing to revoke a legally issued federal rule without public notice and comment, using a little-known and unpopular provision of the recent omnibus appropriations bill to change a federal regulation." Many critics see the decision as adding burdensome regulation to affected industries. (Read more)

1 comment:

Kent Flanagan, aka Punster, said...

Unfortunately, home builders, as in this case, are not as interested in saving endangered species as they are in selling suburban homes and promoting urban sprawl on what once was arable farm land, which has led to another endangered species, the non-corporate family farmer.