Eagle Permits; Removal of Regulations Extending Maximum Permit Duration of Programmatic Nonpurposeful Take Permits, 8001-8004 [2016-03084]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / Rules and Regulations economic inducement, or other means (‘‘interchange commitment’’). Futhermore, 49 CFR 1180.4(g)(4)(i) will now state that if such a provision or agreement exists, additional information must be provided (the information in paragraphs (g)(4)(i)(B), (D), and (G) of this section may be filed with the Board under 49 CFR 1104.14(a) and will be kept confidential without need for the filing of an accompanying motion for a protective order under 49 CFR 1104.14(b)). As this action relates solely to the rules of agency practice and procedure, it will be issued as a final rule without requesting public comment.1 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). In the 2013 Final Rules, the Board certified that the rules as amended would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601–612. 2013 Final Rules 8. The Board further analyzed the burdens associated with the additional filing requirements pursuant to Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501–3549 and stated its belief that the additional disclosure requirements would not discourage parties from entering into efficiencyenhancing transactions. See 2013 Final Rules 6, 8. Those analyses and conclusions apply equally to this decision, and therefore, we adopt those analyses and conclusions and certify under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the RFA. PART 1180—RAILROAD ACQUISITION, CONTROL, MERGER, CONSOLIDATION PROJECT, TRACKAGE RIGHTS, AND LEASE PROCEDURES 1. The authority for part 1180 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553 and 559; 11 U.S.C. 1172; 49 U.S.C. 721, 10502, 11323–11325. 2. Amend § 1180.4 by revising paragraphs (g)(4)(i) introductory text to read as follows: ■ 1180.4 Procedures. * * * * * (g) * * * (4) Transactions imposing interchange commitments. (i) The filing party must certify whether or not a proposed acquisition or operation of a rail line involves a provision or agreement that may limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier, whether by outright prohibition, per-car penalty, adjustment in the purchase price or rental, positive economic inducement, or other means (‘‘interchange commitment’’). If such a provision or agreement exists, the following additional information must be provided (the information in paragraphs (g)(4)(i)(B), (D), and (G) of this section may be filed with the Board under 49 CFR 1104.14(a) and will be kept confidential without need for the filing of an accompanying motion for a protective order under 49 CFR 1104.14(b)): * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–03199 Filed 2–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 1180 Administrative practice and procedure, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. It is ordered: 1. The Board adopts the final rule as set forth in this decision. Notice of the adopted rules will be published in the Federal Register. 2. This decision is effective on the date of publication. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Parts 13 and 22 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2015–0155; FF09M21200–167–FXMB123209EAGL0L2] RIN 1018–BB20 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES By the Board, Chairman Elliot, Vice Chairman Miller, and Commissioner Begman. Raina S. Contee, Clearance Clerk. Eagle Permits; Removal of Regulations Extending Maximum Permit Duration of Programmatic Nonpurposeful Take Permits For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface Transportation Board amends part 1180 title 49, chapter X, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: AGENCY: 1 Board procedures allow for the issue of final rules without notice or comment when those rules are interpretive, general statements of policy, or relate to organization, procedure, or practice before the Board. See 49 CFR 1110.3(a). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Feb 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing this final rule to comply with a court order that had the effect of vacating provisions of regulations governing eagle nonpurposeful take permits that SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8001 extended the maximum term of programmatic permits to 30 years. Pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s order dated August 11, 2015, and subsequent order amending judgment dated September 16, 2015, this rule removes regulatory provisions that extended maximum programmatic permit duration1 to 30 years and reinstates the previous 5-year limit. DATES: This action is effective February 17, 2016. ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2015–0155. It will also be available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041– 3803. Call (703) 358–2329 to make arrangements. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eliza Savage, Eagle Program Manager, at the Headquarters Office (see ADDRESSES) or telephone (703) 358–2329. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8337 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In 2009, the Service published a rule authorizing the incidental take of eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668–668d) (74 FR 46836, September 11, 2009). The rule authorized programmatic permits to cover long-term, incidental take of eagles by individual projects, including wind-energy facilities. On December 9, 2013, the Service published a rule to extend the maximum tenure for programmatic permits for nonpurposeful take of eagles from 5 to 30 years (78 FR 73704). The change was intended to promote the responsible development of projects that will be in operation for many decades and bring them into compliance with statutory mandates protecting eagles. In addition to extending the maximum term of programmatic permits, the rule added provisions for 5-year evaluations of longer term permits, increased the permit application processing fees for programmatic eagle permits, and provided permit transfer and right-ofsuccession for eagle nonpurposeful take permits. In 2014, a lawsuit was filed challenging the 2013 rule on the basis that the Service improperly excluded analysis of any environmental effects of the rule under the National E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 8002 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) by invoking one of the Department’s categorical exclusions. The plaintiffs also argued that the Service had not adequately consulted under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). On August 11, 2015, the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on the NEPA claim (but not the ESA claim) and set aside the 2013 rulemaking (Shearwater v. Ashe, (N. D. Cal. 2015) No.14–CV–02830–LHK (N. Dist. Ca, Aug. 11, 2015)). In a subsequent order, the judge clarified that the ruling applied only to the provisions of the rule challenged by plaintiffs, namely those provisions directly related to extending the tenure of eagle incidental take permits from 5 to 30 years (Shearwater v. Ashe, No. 5:14–cv–02830 LHK (Sep. 16, 2015)). Therefore, this rule removes only the provisions related to increasing permit tenure and not the other provisions of the December 9, 2013, final rule. Administrative Procedure This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the August 11, 2015, court order and September 16, 2015, clarification. Therefore, under these circumstances, we have determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are impractical and unnecessary. Public opportunity for comment is simply not required when an agency amends a regulation to comply with a court order. When an agency removes regulatory provisions set aside by a court order, that action is ministerial in nature and allows for no discretion on the part of the agency. Thus, public comment could not inform this process in any meaningful way. Moreover, this amendment will effectively reinstate provisions that were part of the earlier 2009 rulemaking, which complied with public notice and comment rulemaking procedures, rendering further notice and comment on those reinstated provisions unnecessary. We have further determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), that the agency has good cause to make this rule effective upon publication, which is to comply with the District Court’s order as soon as practicable. Plants, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. 50 CFR Part 22 Birds, Exports, Imports, Migratory birds, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. Regulation Promulgation To comply with the court order and mandate discussed above, we amend subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 13—GENERAL PERMIT PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 13 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 668a, 704, 712, 742j– l, 1374(g), 1382, 1538(d), 1539, 1540(f), 3374, 4901–4916; 18 U.S.C. 42; 19 U.S.C. 1202; 31 U.S.C. 9701. 2. Revise the table in § 13.11(d)(4) to read as set forth below: ■ List of Subjects § 13.11 50 CFR Part 13 Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Fish, Imports, * * * Permit application fee CFR Citation Type of permit Application procedures. * * (d) * * * (4) * * * Administration fee1 Amendment fee 75 ................... No fee ............ 100 ................. 100 ................. 75 ................... No fee ............ 75 ................... 75 ................... 75 ................... 100 ................. 100 ................. 100 ................. 50 ................... 100 ................. 50 ................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 ........................ Migratory Bird Treaty Act Migratory Bird Import/Export ................................................... Migratory Bird Banding or Marking ......................................... Migratory Bird Scientific Collecting ......................................... Migratory Bird Taxidermy ........................................................ Waterfowl Sale and Disposal .................................................. Special Canada Goose ........................................................... Migratory Bird Special Purpose/Education ............................. Migratory Bird Special Purpose/Salvage ................................ Migratory Bird Special Purpose/Game Bird Propagation ....... Migratory Bird Special Purpose/Miscellaneous ...................... Falconry .................................................................................. Raptor Propagation ................................................................. Migratory Bird Rehabilitation ................................................... Migratory Bird Depredation ..................................................... Migratory Bird Depredation/Homeowner ................................ 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part part part part part part part part part part part part 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Eagle Scientific Collecting ...................................................... Eagle Exhibition ...................................................................... Eagle Falconry ........................................................................ Eagle—Native American Religion ........................................... Eagle Take permits—Depredation and Protection of Health and Safety. Golden Eagle Nest Take ........................................................ Eagle Transport—Scientific or Exhibition ............................... Eagle Transport—Native American Religious Purposes ........ Eagle Take—Associated With But Not the Purpose of an Activity. Eagle Take—Associated With But Not the Purpose of an Activity—Programmatic, up to 5-year tenure. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Feb 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 50 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part part 22 22 22 22 22 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... 100 ................. 75 ................... 100 ................. No fee ............ 100 ................. ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part 22 22 22 22 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... 100 ................. 75 ................... No fee ............ 500 ................. ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 ........................ ........................ 150 50 CFR part 22 ...................... 36,000 ............ 2,600 1,000 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 8003 Type of permit CFR Citation Permit application fee Administration fee1 Amendment fee Eagle Take—Associated With But Not the Purpose of an Activity—Transfer of a programmatic permit. Eagle Nest Take ..................................................................... Eagle Nest Take—Programmatic ........................................... Eagle Take—Exempted under ESA ....................................... 50 CFR part 22 ...................... 1,000 .............. ........................ ........................ 50 CFR part 22 ...................... 50 CFR part 22 ...................... 50 CFR part 22 ...................... 500 ................. 1,000 .............. No fee ............ ........................ ........................ ........................ 150 500 ........................ Endangered Species Act/CITES/Lacey Act ESA Recovery ......................................................................... ESA Interstate Commerce ...................................................... ESA Enhancement of Survival (Safe Harbor Agreement) ..... ESA Enhancement of Survival (Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances). ESA Incidental Take (Habitat Conservation Plan) ................. ESA and CITES Import/Export and Foreign Commerce ........ ESA and CITES Museum Exchange ...................................... ESA Captive-bred Wildlife Registration .................................. —Renewal of Captive-bred Wildlife Registration ................... CITES Import (including trophies under ESA and MMPA) .... CITES Export .......................................................................... CITES Pre-Convention ........................................................... CITES Certificate of Origin ..................................................... CITES Re-export ..................................................................... CITES Personal Effects and Pet Export/Re-export ................ CITES Appendix II Export (native furbearers and alligators— excluding live animals). CITES Master File (includes files for artificial propagation, biomedical, etc., and covers import, export, and re-export documents). —Renewal of CITES Master File ........................................... —Single-use permits issued on Master File ........................... CITES Annual Program File ................................................... —Single-use permits issued under Annual Program ............. CITES replacement documents (lost, stolen, or damaged documents). CITES Passport for Traveling Exhibitions and Pets ............... CITES/ESA Passport for Traveling Exhibitions ...................... CITES Introduction from the Sea ........................................... CITES Participation in the Plant Rescue Center Program ..... CITES Registration of Commercial Breeding Operations for Appendix–I Wildlife. CITES Request for Approval of an Export Program for a State or Tribe (American Ginseng, Certain Furbearers, and American Alligator). Import/Export License ............................................................. Designated Port Exception ..................................................... Injurious Wildlife Permit .......................................................... —Transport Authorization for Injurious Wildlife ...................... 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... 100 ................. 100 ................. 50 ................... 50 ................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 25 25 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR part 17 ...................... part 17 ...................... part 17 ...................... part 17 ...................... part 17 ...................... parts 17, 18, 23 ........ part 23 ...................... part 23 ...................... part 23 ...................... part 23 ...................... part 23 ...................... part 23 ...................... 100 ................. 100 ................. 100 ................. 200 ................. 100 ................. 100 ................. 100 ................. 75 ................... 75 ................... 75 ................... 50 ................... 100 ................. ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 50 100 ........................ 50 50 40 40 40 ........................ 50 50 CFR part 23 ...................... 200 ................. ........................ 100 50 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part part 23 23 23 23 23 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... 100 ................. 5 2 ................... 50 ................... 5 2 ................... 50 ................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 50 50 50 50 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part part 23 23 23 23 23 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... 75 3 ................. 100 3 ............... 100 ................. No fee ............ 100 ................. ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 ........................ ........................ 50 CFR part 23 ...................... No fee ............ ........................ ........................ 50 50 50 50 100 ................. 100 ................. 100 ................. 25 ................... ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 50 ........................ 50 CFR part 15 ...................... 50 CFR part 15 ...................... 50 ................... 100 ................. ........................ ........................ ........................ 50 50 CFR part 15 ...................... 50 CFR part 15 ...................... 50 CFR part 15 ...................... 200 ................. 50 ................... 250 4 ............... ........................ ........................ ........................ 100 ........................ ........................ 50 CFR part 18 ...................... 50 CFR part 18 ...................... 300 ................. 150 ................. ........................ ........................ 150 75 50 CFR part 18 ...................... 75 ................... ........................ ........................ CFR CFR CFR CFR part part part part 17 17 17 17 14 14 16 16 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) Personal Pet Import ................................................................ WBCA Scientific Research, Zoological Breeding or Display, Cooperative Breeding. WBCA Approval of Cooperative Breeding Program ............... —Renewal of a WBCA Cooperative Breeding Program ........ WBCA Approval of a Foreign Breeding Facility ..................... asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Marine Mammal Protection Act Marine Mammal Public Display .............................................. Marine Mammal Scientific Research/Enhancement/Registered Agent or Tannery. —Renewal of Marine Mammal Scientific Research/Enhancement/Registered Agent or Tannery. 1 Assessed when a permit is issued. 2 Each. 3 Per 4 Per animal. species. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Feb 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1 8004 * * Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / Rules and Regulations * * * PART 22—EAGLE PERMITS 3. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 668–668d; 16 U.S.C. 703–712; 16 U.S.C. 1531–1544. 4. Amend § 22.26 as follows: a. By removing paragraph (h); b. By redesignating paragraphs (i) and (j) as paragraphs (h) and (i); and ■ c. By revising the newly designated paragraph (h) to read as set forth below: ■ ■ ■ § 22.26 Permits for eagle take that is associated with, but not the purpose of, an activity. * * * * * (h) Permit duration. The duration of each permit issued under this section will be designated on its face, and will be based on the duration of the proposed activities, the period of time for which take will occur, the level of impacts to eagles, and mitigation measures, but will not exceed 5 years. * * * * * Dated: February 2, 2016. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2016–03084 Filed 2–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2016–0006; FXES11130900000C6–167–FF09E42000] RIN 1018–BB28 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Technical Corrections for Eight Wildlife Species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the revised taxonomy of eight wildlife species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are revising the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to reflect the current scientifically accepted taxonomy and nomenclature of these species. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: This rule is effective May 17, 2016 without further action, unless significant adverse comment is received by March 18, 2016. If significant adverse DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Feb 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 comment is received regarding taxonomic changes for any of these species, we will publish in the Federal Register a timely withdrawal of the rule for the appropriate species. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to FWS–R1–ES–2016–0006, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1– ES–2016–0006; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. See Public Comments, below, for more information about submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilet Zablan, Program Manager for Restoration and Endangered Species Classification, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Regional Office, Ecological Services, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232; telephone 503–231–6131. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8337 for TTY (telephone typewriter or teletypewriter) assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of Direct Final Rule and Final Action The purpose of this direct final rule is to notify the public that we are revising the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at § 17.11(h) (50 CFR 17.11(h)) to reflect the scientifically accepted taxonomy and nomenclature of eight wildlife species listed under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). These changes to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife reflect the most recently accepted scientific names in accordance with 50 CFR 17.11(b). We are publishing this rule without a prior proposal because this is a noncontroversial action that is in the best interest of the public and should be undertaken in as timely a manner as possible. This rule will be effective, as published in this document, on the effective date specified in DATES, unless we receive significant adverse comments on or before the comment due date specified in DATES. Significant adverse comments are comments that provide strong justification as to why PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 this rule should not be adopted or why it should be changed. If we receive significant adverse comments regarding the taxonomic changes for any of these species, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule for the appropriate species before the effective date, and we will publish a proposed rule to initiate promulgation of those changes to 50 CFR 17.11(h). Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials regarding this direct final rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. Please include sufficient information with your comments that will allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing this direct final rule, will be available for public inspection on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please note that comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov are not immediately viewable. When you submit a comment, the system receives it immediately. However, the comment will not be publicly viewable until we post it, which might not occur until several days after submission. Information regarding this rule is available in alternative formats upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). For information pertaining to specific species, please contact Kristi Young, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3–122, Honolulu, HI 96813; telephone 808–792–9400. Background 50 CFR 17.11(b) and 17.12(b) direct us to use the most recently accepted scientific name of any wildlife or plant E:\FR\FM\17FER1.SGM 17FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 31 (Wednesday, February 17, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8001-8004]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03084]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Parts 13 and 22

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0155; FF09M21200-167-FXMB123209EAGL0L2]
RIN 1018-BB20


Eagle Permits; Removal of Regulations Extending Maximum Permit 
Duration of Programmatic Nonpurposeful Take Permits

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing 
this final rule to comply with a court order that had the effect of 
vacating provisions of regulations governing eagle nonpurposeful take 
permits that extended the maximum term of programmatic permits to 30 
years. Pursuant to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of 
California's order dated August 11, 2015, and subsequent order amending 
judgment dated September 16, 2015, this rule removes regulatory 
provisions that extended maximum programmatic permit duration1 to 30 
years and reinstates the previous 5-year limit.

DATES: This action is effective February 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0155. It will also be 
available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours 
at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Headquarters Office, 5275 Leesburg 
Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803. Call (703) 358-2329 to make 
arrangements.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eliza Savage, Eagle Program Manager, 
at the Headquarters Office (see ADDRESSES) or telephone (703) 358-2329. 
Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the 
Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In 2009, the Service published a rule authorizing the incidental 
take of eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 
U.S.C. 668-668d) (74 FR 46836, September 11, 2009). The rule authorized 
programmatic permits to cover long-term, incidental take of eagles by 
individual projects, including wind-energy facilities. On December 9, 
2013, the Service published a rule to extend the maximum tenure for 
programmatic permits for nonpurposeful take of eagles from 5 to 30 
years (78 FR 73704). The change was intended to promote the responsible 
development of projects that will be in operation for many decades and 
bring them into compliance with statutory mandates protecting eagles. 
In addition to extending the maximum term of programmatic permits, the 
rule added provisions for 5-year evaluations of longer term permits, 
increased the permit application processing fees for programmatic eagle 
permits, and provided permit transfer and right-of-succession for eagle 
nonpurposeful take permits.
    In 2014, a lawsuit was filed challenging the 2013 rule on the basis 
that the Service improperly excluded analysis of any environmental 
effects of the rule under the National

[[Page 8002]]

Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) by invoking 
one of the Department's categorical exclusions. The plaintiffs also 
argued that the Service had not adequately consulted under section 7 of 
the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
    On August 11, 2015, the Northern District of California ruled in 
favor of the plaintiffs on the NEPA claim (but not the ESA claim) and 
set aside the 2013 rulemaking (Shearwater v. Ashe, (N. D. Cal. 2015) 
No.14-CV-02830-LHK (N. Dist. Ca, Aug. 11, 2015)). In a subsequent 
order, the judge clarified that the ruling applied only to the 
provisions of the rule challenged by plaintiffs, namely those 
provisions directly related to extending the tenure of eagle incidental 
take permits from 5 to 30 years (Shearwater v. Ashe, No. 5:14-cv-02830 
LHK (Sep. 16, 2015)). Therefore, this rule removes only the provisions 
related to increasing permit tenure and not the other provisions of the 
December 9, 2013, final rule.

Administrative Procedure

    This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the August 11, 2015, 
court order and September 16, 2015, clarification. Therefore, under 
these circumstances, we have determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are 
impractical and unnecessary. Public opportunity for comment is simply 
not required when an agency amends a regulation to comply with a court 
order. When an agency removes regulatory provisions set aside by a 
court order, that action is ministerial in nature and allows for no 
discretion on the part of the agency. Thus, public comment could not 
inform this process in any meaningful way. Moreover, this amendment 
will effectively reinstate provisions that were part of the earlier 
2009 rulemaking, which complied with public notice and comment 
rulemaking procedures, rendering further notice and comment on those 
reinstated provisions unnecessary. We have further determined, pursuant 
to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), that the agency has good cause to make this rule 
effective upon publication, which is to comply with the District 
Court's order as soon as practicable.

List of Subjects

50 CFR Part 13

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Fish, Imports, 
Plants, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, 
Wildlife.

50 CFR Part 22

    Birds, Exports, Imports, Migratory birds, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

Regulation Promulgation

    To comply with the court order and mandate discussed above, we 
amend subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 13--GENERAL PERMIT PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 13 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 668a, 704, 712, 742j-l, 1374(g), 1382, 
1538(d), 1539, 1540(f), 3374, 4901-4916; 18 U.S.C. 42; 19 U.S.C. 
1202; 31 U.S.C. 9701.


0
2. Revise the table in Sec.  13.11(d)(4) to read as set forth below:


Sec.  13.11  Application procedures.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (4) * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Permit application   Administration
          Type of permit                 CFR Citation               fee               fee\1\       Amendment fee
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Migratory Bird Treaty Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Migratory Bird Import/Export......  50 CFR part 21.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
Migratory Bird Banding or Marking.  50 CFR part 21.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
Migratory Bird Scientific           50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............              50
 Collecting.
Migratory Bird Taxidermy..........  50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
Waterfowl Sale and Disposal.......  50 CFR part 21.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
Special Canada Goose..............  50 CFR part 21.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
Migratory Bird Special Purpose/     50 CFR part 21.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
 Education.
Migratory Bird Special Purpose/     50 CFR part 21.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
 Salvage.
Migratory Bird Special Purpose/     50 CFR part 21.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
 Game Bird Propagation.
Migratory Bird Special Purpose/     50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
 Miscellaneous.
Falconry..........................  50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
Raptor Propagation................  50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
Migratory Bird Rehabilitation.....  50 CFR part 21.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
Migratory Bird Depredation........  50 CFR part 21.......  100..................  ..............              50
Migratory Bird Depredation/         50 CFR part 21.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
 Homeowner.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eagle Scientific Collecting.......  50 CFR part 22.......  100..................  ..............              50
Eagle Exhibition..................  50 CFR part 22.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
Eagle Falconry....................  50 CFR part 22.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
Eagle--Native American Religion...  50 CFR part 22.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
Eagle Take permits--Depredation     50 CFR part 22.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
 and Protection of Health and
 Safety.
Golden Eagle Nest Take............  50 CFR part 22.......  100..................  ..............              50
Eagle Transport--Scientific or      50 CFR part 22.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
 Exhibition.
Eagle Transport--Native American    50 CFR part 22.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
 Religious Purposes.
Eagle Take--Associated With But     50 CFR part 22.......  500..................  ..............             150
 Not the Purpose of an Activity.
Eagle Take--Associated With But     50 CFR part 22.......  36,000...............           2,600           1,000
 Not the Purpose of an Activity--
 Programmatic, up to 5-year tenure.

[[Page 8003]]

 
Eagle Take--Associated With But     50 CFR part 22.......  1,000................  ..............  ..............
 Not the Purpose of an Activity--
 Transfer of a programmatic permit.
Eagle Nest Take...................  50 CFR part 22.......  500..................  ..............             150
Eagle Nest Take--Programmatic.....  50 CFR part 22.......  1,000................  ..............             500
Eagle Take--Exempted under ESA....  50 CFR part 22.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Endangered Species Act/CITES/Lacey Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ESA Recovery......................  50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............              50
ESA Interstate Commerce...........  50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............              50
ESA Enhancement of Survival (Safe   50 CFR part 17.......  50...................  ..............              25
 Harbor Agreement).
ESA Enhancement of Survival         50 CFR part 17.......  50...................  ..............              25
 (Candidate Conservation Agreement
 with Assurances).
ESA Incidental Take (Habitat        50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............              50
 Conservation Plan).
ESA and CITES Import/Export and     50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............              50
 Foreign Commerce.
ESA and CITES Museum Exchange.....  50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............              50
ESA Captive-bred Wildlife           50 CFR part 17.......  200..................  ..............             100
 Registration.
--Renewal of Captive-bred Wildlife  50 CFR part 17.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
 Registration.
CITES Import (including trophies    50 CFR parts 17, 18,   100..................  ..............              50
 under ESA and MMPA).                23.
CITES Export......................  50 CFR part 23.......  100..................  ..............              50
CITES Pre-Convention..............  50 CFR part 23.......  75...................  ..............              40
CITES Certificate of Origin.......  50 CFR part 23.......  75...................  ..............              40
CITES Re-export...................  50 CFR part 23.......  75...................  ..............              40
CITES Personal Effects and Pet      50 CFR part 23.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
 Export/Re-export.
CITES Appendix II Export (native    50 CFR part 23.......  100..................  ..............              50
 furbearers and alligators--
 excluding live animals).
CITES Master File (includes files   50 CFR part 23.......  200..................  ..............             100
 for artificial propagation,
 biomedical, etc., and covers
 import, export, and re-export
 documents).
--Renewal of CITES Master File....  50 CFR part 23.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
--Single-use permits issued on      50 CFR part 23.......  5 \2\................  ..............  ..............
 Master File.
CITES Annual Program File.........  50 CFR part 23.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
--Single-use permits issued under   50 CFR part 23.......  5 \2\................  ..............  ..............
 Annual Program.
CITES replacement documents (lost,  50 CFR part 23.......  50...................  ..............              50
 stolen, or damaged documents).
CITES Passport for Traveling        50 CFR part 23.......  75 \3\...............  ..............  ..............
 Exhibitions and Pets.
CITES/ESA Passport for Traveling    50 CFR part 23.......  100 \3\..............  ..............  ..............
 Exhibitions.
CITES Introduction from the Sea...  50 CFR part 23.......  100..................  ..............              50
CITES Participation in the Plant    50 CFR part 23.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
 Rescue Center Program.
CITES Registration of Commercial    50 CFR part 23.......  100..................  ..............  ..............
 Breeding Operations for Appendix-
 I Wildlife.
CITES Request for Approval of an    50 CFR part 23.......  No fee...............  ..............  ..............
 Export Program for a State or
 Tribe (American Ginseng, Certain
 Furbearers, and American
 Alligator).
Import/Export License.............  50 CFR part 14.......  100..................  ..............              50
Designated Port Exception.........  50 CFR part 14.......  100..................  ..............              50
Injurious Wildlife Permit.........  50 CFR part 16.......  100..................  ..............              50
--Transport Authorization for       50 CFR part 16.......  25...................  ..............  ..............
 Injurious Wildlife.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Personal Pet Import...............  50 CFR part 15.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
WBCA Scientific Research,           50 CFR part 15.......  100..................  ..............              50
 Zoological Breeding or Display,
 Cooperative Breeding.
WBCA Approval of Cooperative        50 CFR part 15.......  200..................  ..............             100
 Breeding Program.
--Renewal of a WBCA Cooperative     50 CFR part 15.......  50...................  ..............  ..............
 Breeding Program.
WBCA Approval of a Foreign          50 CFR part 15.......  250 \4\..............  ..............  ..............
 Breeding Facility.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Marine Mammal Protection Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marine Mammal Public Display......  50 CFR part 18.......  300..................  ..............             150
Marine Mammal Scientific Research/  50 CFR part 18.......  150..................  ..............              75
 Enhancement/Registered Agent or
 Tannery.
--Renewal of Marine Mammal          50 CFR part 18.......  75...................  ..............  ..............
 Scientific Research/Enhancement/
 Registered Agent or Tannery.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Assessed when a permit is issued.
\2\ Each.
\3\ Per animal.
\4\ Per species.


[[Page 8004]]

* * * * *

PART 22--EAGLE PERMITS

0
3. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 668-668d; 16 U.S.C. 703-712; 16 U.S.C. 
1531-1544.


0
4. Amend Sec.  22.26 as follows:
0
a. By removing paragraph (h);
0
b. By redesignating paragraphs (i) and (j) as paragraphs (h) and (i); 
and
0
c. By revising the newly designated paragraph (h) to read as set forth 
below:


Sec.  22.26  Permits for eagle take that is associated with, but not 
the purpose of, an activity.

* * * * *
    (h) Permit duration. The duration of each permit issued under this 
section will be designated on its face, and will be based on the 
duration of the proposed activities, the period of time for which take 
will occur, the level of impacts to eagles, and mitigation measures, 
but will not exceed 5 years.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 2, 2016.
Karen Hyun,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and 
Parks.
[FR Doc. 2016-03084 Filed 2-16-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P