The President of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), Randall Luthi, issued the following statement regarding the Department of the Interior’s proposed rule changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“In the 45 years since the passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it has become interpreted more often as a procedural marathon as opposed to a species recovery sprint. Decades of regulations have lengthened the timeframes for decisions and many courts have slowed the removal of species from threatened or endangered lists, even if scientifically based population quotas were met and exceeded. Clarifying and simplifying the ESA process will help bring offshore species recovery into the 21st century.
“Offshore operators and energy producers have a long history of building vibrant habitat in the offshore space, be it deep sea pipelines providing anchor areas for endangered or threatened corals or platforms establishing reefs for fish nurseries. This joint proposal between Interior and NOAA will make the management and protection of threatened and endangered species in the Outer Continental Shelf clearer and more efficient for both the regulators and the regulated industry. We applaud the Department for their willingness to examine and improve this process.”
The proposed rule change can be reviewed here.