Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on Petitions To List Two Tortoises as Endangered or Threatened and and a Sloth as Endangered, 32900-32903 [2014-13288]

Download as PDF 32900 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 110 / Monday, June 9, 2014 / Proposed Rules G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks The EPA interprets E.O. 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5–501 of the E.O. has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it does not establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks. This proposal is designed to help implement the already-established ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS, which were both promulgated in 1997 to protect the health and welfare of individuals, including children, who are susceptible to the adverse effects of exposure to unhealthy levels of ozone and PM2.5. H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use This action is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ as defined in Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)), because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy because it does not establish requirements that directly affect the general public and the public and private sectors, but, rather interprets the statutory requirements that apply to states in preparing their SIPs. The SIPs themselves will likely establish requirements that directly affect the general public, and the public and private sectors. ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (‘‘NTTAA’’), Public Law 104–113, section 12(d), (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs the EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. This rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, the EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:07 Jun 06, 2014 Jkt 232001 J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations § 51.912 What requirements apply for reasonably available control technology (RACT) and reasonably available control measures (RACM) under the 8-hour NAAQS? Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, Feb. 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. The EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because if it has any effect on the level of protection provided to human health or the environment, the effect will be to increase the level of protection by resulting in more stringent emission controls on EGUs in affected nonattainment areas. (a) * * * (4) An individual RACT determination must be made for each major source or major source category meeting the applicable major source size within a nonattainment area. * * * * * Statutory Authority The statutory authority for this action is provided by 42 U.S.C. 7501, 7502, 7511a, 7513a, 7513b and 7601. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 51 Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds. Dated: May 29, 2014. Gina McCarthy, Administrator. For reasons set forth in the preamble, part 51 of chapter I of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 51—REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPARATION, ADOPTION, AND SUBMITTAL OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS. 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 23 U.S.C. 101; 42 U.S.C. 7401– 7671q. 2. Section 51.912 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 [FR Doc. 2014–13415 Filed 6–6–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket Nos. FWS–HQ–ES–2014–0012; FWS–HQ–ES–2014–0013; FWS–HQ–ES– 2014–0014; 450 003 0115] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on Petitions To List Two Tortoises as Endangered or Threatened and and a Sloth as Endangered Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of petition findings and initiation of status reviews. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90day findings on two petitions to list two species (Flat-tailed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda) and Spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides)) as endangered or threatened and one petition to list one species (Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that these petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we are initiating a review of the status of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To assure that the best scientific and commercial data informs the status review and, if warranted, the subsequent listing determinations, and to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to provide information for consideration for the status assessment, we are requesting information regarding these species (see Request for Information, below). Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month findings on the petitions, which will address whether SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09JNP1.SGM 09JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 110 / Monday, June 9, 2014 / Proposed Rules the petitioned action is warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct these status reviews, we request that we receive information no later than September 8, 2014. Information submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. ADDRESSES: You may submit information by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket number (see table, below). You may submit information by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ If your information will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see table below]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. We request that you send information only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Request for Information). Species Docket No. Flat-tailed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda). Spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides). Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus). FWS–HQ–ES–2014– 0012 FWS–HQ–ES–2014– 0013 FWS–HQ–ES–2014– 0014 ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone 703– 358–2171; facsimile 703–358–1735. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:07 Jun 06, 2014 Jkt 232001 Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Information When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial information indicating that listing a species may be warranted, we are required to promptly review the status of the species (status review). For the status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on these species from range countries, governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on: (1) Each species’ biology, range, and population trends, including: (a) Habitat requirements; (b) Genetics and taxonomy; (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both. (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing determination for a species under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are: (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (‘‘Factor A’’); (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (‘‘Factor B’’); (c) Disease or predation (‘‘Factor C’’); (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (‘‘Factor D’’); or (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (‘‘Factor E’’). Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32901 submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http:// www.regulations.gov. Information and supporting documentation that we received and used in preparing this finding will be available for you to review at http:// www.regulations.gov, or you may make an appointment during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Branch of Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Background Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to list a species presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are to base this finding on information provided in the petition and supporting information submitted with the petition. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish our notice of the finding in the Federal Register. Our standard for substantial scientific or commercial information within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with regard to a 90-day petition finding is ‘‘that amount of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted’’ (50 CFR 424.14(b)). If we find that substantial scientific or commercial information was presented, we are required to commence a review of the status of the species, which will be subsequently summarized in our 12month finding. Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR Part 424 set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for Information). In considering what factors might constitute threats, we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a factor to evaluate whether the species may respond to the factor in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. If E:\FR\FM\09JNP1.SGM 09JNP1 32902 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 110 / Monday, June 9, 2014 / Proposed Rules there is exposure to a factor and the species responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and, during the status review, we attempt to determine how significant a threat it is. The threat is significant if it drives, or contributes to, the risk of extinction of the species such that the species may warrant listing as endangered or threatened as those terms are defined in the Act. However, the identification of factors that could impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the information in the petition and our files is substantial. The information must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these factors may be operative threats that act on the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act. Review of Petition To List the FlatTailed Tortoise as Endangered or Threatened Under the Act Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2014–0012 in the document labeled Appendix for the flat-tailed tortoise. Species and Range The flat-tailed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda) is endemic to Madagascar. Petition History On September 27, 2013, we received a petition from Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians, requesting that the flat-tailed tortoise be listed as endangered or threatened under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the identification information for the petitioner required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). On October 25, 2013, we sent a response letter to the Petitioner acknowledging receipt of the petition. This finding addresses the petition. ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Finding Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the flat-tailed tortoise based on factors A and E (see Appendix for the flat-tailed tortoise). Thus, for the flat-tailed tortoise, the Service requests information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for Information). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:07 Jun 06, 2014 Jkt 232001 Review of Petition To List the Spider Tortoise as Endangered or Threatened Under the Act Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2014–0013 in the document labeled Appendix for the spider tortoise. Species and Range The spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) is endemic to Madagascar. Petition History On September 27, 2013, we received a petition from Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians, requesting that the spider tortoise be listed as endangered or threatened under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the identification information for the petitioner required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). On October 25, 2013, we sent a response letter to the Petitioner acknowledging receipt of the petition. This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the spider tortoise based on factors A, B, D, and E (see Appendix for the spider tortoise). Thus, for the spider tortoise, the Service requests information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for Information). Review of Petition To List the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth as Endangered Under the Act Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2014–0014 in the document labeled Appendix for the pygmy three-toed sloth. Species and Range The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is endemic to Panama on the island of Isla Escudo de Veraguas (Isla Escudo). Petition History On November 15, 2013, we received a petition from the Animal Welfare Institute requesting that we emergencylist the pygmy three-toed sloth as endangered under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the identification information for the petitioner required by 50 CFR PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 424.14(a). In a December 4, 2013, letter to the petitioner, we responded that we reviewed the information presented in the petition and did not find that the species warranted an emergency listing. This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the pygmy three-toed sloth based on factors A, B, C, and E (see Appendix for the pygmy three-toed sloth). Thus, for the pygmy three-toed sloth, the Service requests information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for Information). Conclusion On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the three petitions summarized above present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested actions may be warranted, and we are initiating status reviews to determine whether these actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status reviews, we will issue 12-month findings in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether or not listing is warranted. It is important to note that the ‘‘substantial information’’ standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act’s ‘‘best scientific and commercial data’’ standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. A 90-day finding does not constitute a status review under the Act. In a 12-month finding, we will determine whether a petitioned action is warranted after we have completed a thorough review of the species. Because the Act’s standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, as described above, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that the 12-month finding will result in a warranted finding. References Cited On http://www.regulations.gov, the docket for each species (see table under ADDRESSES) contains the relevant appendix and petition mentioned above. Each appendix contains a list of references cited. Each appendix is also available upon request from the Branch of Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). E:\FR\FM\09JNP1.SGM 09JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 110 / Monday, June 9, 2014 / Proposed Rules Author The primary author of this document is Amy Brisendine, Branch of Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Authority The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: May 27, 2014. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2014–13288 Filed 6–6–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 29 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–NWRS–2012–0086; FXRS12610900000–134–FF09R200000] RIN 1018–AX36 Non-Federal Oil and Gas Development Within the National Wildlife Refuge System AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; reopening and extension of the comment period. ACTION: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening and extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for non-Federal oil and gas development within the National Wildlife Refuge System published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2014. We are taking this action in response to public comments. DATES: The comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement that published February 24, 2014 (79 FR 10080), is reopened. We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before July 9, 2014. ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain a copy of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–HQ–NWRS–2012–0086. ehiers on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:07 Jun 06, 2014 Jkt 232001 Written comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS– HQ–NWRS–2012–0086, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. You may submit a comment by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ If your comments will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http:// www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our comment review procedures. If you attach your comments as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–NWRS– 2012–0086; Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM, Arlington, VA 22203. We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Covington, (703) 358–2427. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 24, 2014 (79 FR 10080), we published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) seeking public comments to assist us in developing a proposed rule and programmatic EIS on managing activities associated with non-Federal oil and gas development on lands and waters of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System). Non-Federal oil and gas development refers to oil and gas activities associated with any private, state, or tribally owned mineral interest where the surface estate is administered by the Service as part of the Refuge System. The proposed rule will clarify and expand existing regulations at 50 CFR 29.32. The Service solicited public comment and provided a 60-day public comment period ending April 25, 2014. The Service has received requests for an extension of the public comment period. In response to those requests, we are reopening and extending the public comment period for 30 days. All comments received between April 25, 2014, and the date specified above in DATES will be considered. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32903 If you submitted comments or information on the ANPR/NOI during the initial comment period from February 24 to April 25, 2014, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them into the public record, and will fully consider them in determining the scope of the proposed rule and EIS. Dated: May 21, 2014. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2014–13303 Filed 6–6–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 130722645–4453–01] RIN 0648–BD53 International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Whale Shark Conservation Measures National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement a resolution of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) intended to conserve whale sharks (Rhincodon typhus) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). This proposed rule, if adopted, would prohibit setting a purse seine net on a whale shark, and would require certain measures to protect whale sharks in the event that a whale shark is encircled in a purse seine net. This proposed rulemaking is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC. SUMMARY: Comments must be submitted in writing by June 30, 2014. A public hearing will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST, June 11, 2014 in Long Beach, CA. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2013–0118, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ DATES: E:\FR\FM\09JNP1.SGM 09JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 110 (Monday, June 9, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32900-32903]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13288]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket Nos. FWS-HQ-ES-2014-0012; FWS-HQ-ES-2014-0013; FWS-HQ-ES-2014-
0014; 450 003 0115]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on 
Petitions To List Two Tortoises as Endangered or Threatened and and a 
Sloth as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of petition findings and initiation of status reviews.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-
day findings on two petitions to list two species (Flat-tailed tortoise 
(Pyxis planicauda) and Spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides)) as 
endangered or threatened and one petition to list one species (Pygmy 
three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)) as endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, 
we find that these petitions present substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be 
warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we are 
initiating a review of the status of these species to determine if the 
petitioned actions are warranted. To assure that the best scientific 
and commercial data informs the status review and, if warranted, the 
subsequent listing determinations, and to provide an opportunity for 
all interested parties to provide information for consideration for the 
status assessment, we are requesting information regarding these 
species (see Request for Information, below). Based on the status 
reviews, we will issue 12-month findings on the petitions, which will 
address whether

[[Page 32901]]

the petitioned action is warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) 
of the Act.

DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct these status reviews, we 
request that we receive information no later than September 8, 2014. 
Information submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 
Time on the closing date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit information by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket 
number (see table, below). You may submit information by clicking on 
``Comment Now!'' If your information will fit in the provided comment 
box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is 
most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach 
your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is 
Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), 
our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see table 
below]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 
22203.
    We request that you send information only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see Request for Information).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Species                             Docket No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flat-tailed tortoise (Pyxis          FWS-HQ-ES-2014-0012
 planicauda).
Spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides)  FWS-HQ-ES-2014-0013
Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus     FWS-HQ-ES-2014-0014
 pygmaeus).
------------------------------------------------------------------------


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of 
Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; 
telephone 703-358-2171; facsimile 703-358-1735. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Request for Information

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial 
information indicating that listing a species may be warranted, we are 
required to promptly review the status of the species (status review). 
For the status review to be complete and based on the best available 
scientific and commercial information, we request information on these 
species from range countries, governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek 
information on:
    (1) Each species' biology, range, and population trends, including:
    (a) Habitat requirements;
    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;
    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and 
projected trends; and
    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its 
habitat, or both.
    (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing 
determination for a species under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), which are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range (``Factor A'');
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes (``Factor B'');
    (c) Disease or predation (``Factor C'');
    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (``Factor 
D''); or
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence (``Factor E'').
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions 
under consideration without providing supporting information, although 
noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 
4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any 
species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ``solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by 
one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit 
information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--
including any personal identifying information--will be posted on the 
Web site. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying 
information, you may request at the top of your document that we 
withhold this personal identifying information from public review. 
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will 
post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Information and supporting documentation that we received and used 
in preparing this finding will be available for you to review at http://www.regulations.gov, or you may make an appointment during normal 
business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Branch of 
Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Background

    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on 
whether a petition to list a species presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted. We are to base this finding on information provided in the 
petition and supporting information submitted with the petition. To the 
maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days 
of our receipt of the petition and publish our notice of the finding in 
the Federal Register.
    Our standard for substantial scientific or commercial information 
within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with regard to a 90-day 
petition finding is ``that amount of information that would lead a 
reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition 
may be warranted'' (50 CFR 424.14(b)). If we find that substantial 
scientific or commercial information was presented, we are required to 
commence a review of the status of the species, which will be 
subsequently summarized in our 12-month finding.
    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR Part 424 set forth the procedures for adding a 
species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be determined to be 
an endangered or threatened species due to one or more of the five 
factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for 
Information).
    In considering what factors might constitute threats, we must look 
beyond the exposure of the species to a factor to evaluate whether the 
species may respond to the factor in a way that causes actual impacts 
to the species. If

[[Page 32902]]

there is exposure to a factor and the species responds negatively, the 
factor may be a threat and, during the status review, we attempt to 
determine how significant a threat it is. The threat is significant if 
it drives, or contributes to, the risk of extinction of the species 
such that the species may warrant listing as endangered or threatened 
as those terms are defined in the Act. However, the identification of 
factors that could impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to 
compel a finding that the information in the petition and our files is 
substantial. The information must include evidence sufficient to 
suggest that these factors may be operative threats that act on the 
species to the point that the species may meet the definition of 
endangered or threatened under the Act.

Review of Petition To List the Flat-Tailed Tortoise as Endangered or 
Threatened Under the Act

    Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be 
found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2014-
0012 in the document labeled Appendix for the flat-tailed tortoise.

Species and Range

    The flat-tailed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda) is endemic to 
Madagascar.

Petition History

    On September 27, 2013, we received a petition from Friends of 
Animals and WildEarth Guardians, requesting that the flat-tailed 
tortoise be listed as endangered or threatened under the Act. The 
petition clearly identified itself as such and included the 
identification information for the petitioner required at 50 CFR 
424.14(a). On October 25, 2013, we sent a response letter to the 
Petitioner acknowledging receipt of the petition. This finding 
addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and 
in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned action may be warranted for the flat-tailed 
tortoise based on factors A and E (see Appendix for the flat-tailed 
tortoise). Thus, for the flat-tailed tortoise, the Service requests 
information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act (see Request for Information).

Review of Petition To List the Spider Tortoise as Endangered or 
Threatened Under the Act

    Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be 
found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2014-
0013 in the document labeled Appendix for the spider tortoise.

Species and Range

    The spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) is endemic to Madagascar.

Petition History

    On September 27, 2013, we received a petition from Friends of 
Animals and WildEarth Guardians, requesting that the spider tortoise be 
listed as endangered or threatened under the Act. The petition clearly 
identified itself as such and included the identification information 
for the petitioner required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). On October 25, 2013, 
we sent a response letter to the Petitioner acknowledging receipt of 
the petition. This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and 
in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned action may be warranted for the spider tortoise 
based on factors A, B, D, and E (see Appendix for the spider tortoise). 
Thus, for the spider tortoise, the Service requests information on the 
five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Request for 
Information).

Review of Petition To List the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth as Endangered 
Under the Act

    Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be 
found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2014-
0014 in the document labeled Appendix for the pygmy three-toed sloth.

Species and Range

    The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is endemic to Panama 
on the island of Isla Escudo de Veraguas (Isla Escudo).

Petition History

    On November 15, 2013, we received a petition from the Animal 
Welfare Institute requesting that we emergency-list the pygmy three-
toed sloth as endangered under the Act. The petition clearly identified 
itself as such and included the identification information for the 
petitioner required by 50 CFR 424.14(a). In a December 4, 2013, letter 
to the petitioner, we responded that we reviewed the information 
presented in the petition and did not find that the species warranted 
an emergency listing. This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the information provided in the petition and 
in the sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned action may be warranted for the pygmy three-toed 
sloth based on factors A, B, C, and E (see Appendix for the pygmy 
three-toed sloth). Thus, for the pygmy three-toed sloth, the Service 
requests information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) 
of the Act (see Request for Information).

Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented under 
section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the three 
petitions summarized above present substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the requested actions may be warranted, and 
we are initiating status reviews to determine whether these actions are 
warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status reviews, we 
will issue 12-month findings in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of 
the Act, as to whether or not listing is warranted.
    It is important to note that the ``substantial information'' 
standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act's ``best scientific 
and commercial data'' standard that applies to a status review to 
determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. A 90-day finding 
does not constitute a status review under the Act. In a 12-month 
finding, we will determine whether a petitioned action is warranted 
after we have completed a thorough review of the species. Because the 
Act's standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, as 
described above, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that the 
12-month finding will result in a warranted finding.

References Cited

    On http://www.regulations.gov, the docket for each species (see 
table under ADDRESSES) contains the relevant appendix and petition 
mentioned above. Each appendix contains a list of references cited. 
Each appendix is also available upon request from the Branch of Foreign 
Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

[[Page 32903]]

Author

    The primary author of this document is Amy Brisendine, Branch of 
Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authority

    The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 27, 2014.
Stephen Guertin,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-13288 Filed 6-6-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P