The House votes to repeal a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule. As a result of the rule, at least 3,000 projects already under construction will have to re-do their Endangered Species Act consultations, threatening schedules and even project feasibility.
On July 27, the House of Representatives voted with AGC to repeal a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) rule uplisting from threatened to endangered status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) the Northern Long Eared Bat found in 37 states.
AGC supports the effort to repeal the rule because, the Service:
- Admits that there are at least more than 3,000 projects of some 24,480 projects reviewed that will need to re-do ESA consultations that could further delay project delivery, threaten existing permits, and even jeopardize projects moving forward at all;
- Acknowledges that there are no proven measures to reduce the severity of the disease inflicting harm on the bat; and
- Fails to demonstrate that there has been a significant change of circumstances between the 2015 rule listing the bat as threatened and the final rule up-listing it to endangered.
The Senate voted to repeal the rule on May 11. President Biden is expected to veto the legislation and it is likely that Congress will not be able to override the veto. As such, the rule will likely stay in place and threaten ongoing projects and projects in the pipeline. It is important for AGC to nevertheless support this repeal effort to highlight the impact it will have on the industry.