WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service today announced the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment that analyzes a limited set of proposed revisions to regulations that apply to interagency consultation procedures under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Services are seeking public review and comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment that was shared with the public today.
The Draft Environmental Assessment is on the Department of the Interior homepage at
http://www.doi.gov/issues/new%20final%20Comments_on_NEPA_draft_EA_finalversion_10-27-08.pdf The appendices are at http://www.doi.gov/issues/001.pdf and http://www.doi.gov/issues/002.pdf
The Services proposed a limited set of revisions to the section 7 regulations in a Federal Register notice on August 15, 2008. At that time, the Services also committed to conduct an analysis pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act prior to making a final decision on the proposed revisions to the regulations. Today’s Draft Environmental Assessment was prepared to further that commitment.
By providing an opportunity for public review and comment, the Services are taking steps to better inform the public on the potential environmental effects of the proposed revisions to the ESA section 7 regulations. Public review and comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment will also help ensure that agency decision makers have the best available information from the public before a final decision is reached regarding the proposed set of limited revisions to the regulations.
Interested parties may provide information on this Draft Environmental Assessment between October 27, 2008 and November 6, 2008 for consideration by the Services by submitting written comments as follows:
1) Through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.
2) by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Public Comment Processing, Attention: 1018-AT50, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203. Comments must be received by November 6, 2008. We will not accept comments via e-mail or faxes.