Advocacy Comments on FWS and NMFS’ Proposed Rule to Define “Habitat” in Critical Habitat Designations
On August 5, 2020 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) along with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), (hereinafter “Services” or “the Services”) published a proposed rule to add a definition of “habitat” to regulations implementing Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act. Section 4 of the Act requires the Services to designate critical habitat when a determination is made that a species is endangered or threatened.
The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (Advocacy) is pleased that the Services are adding a regulatory definition of “habitat” for purposes of designating critical habitat as this adds additional clarity and regulatory certainty to the existing framework. Advocacy encourages the Services to consider the below recommendations, and those of small entities in finalizing its definition to ensure that there are no unintended consequences that may be overly burdensome.
For further information, please contact Prianka Sharma with the Office of Advocacy.