Migratory Bird Permits; Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, us, or we), intend to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a proposal to authorize incidental take of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We are considering rulemaking to address various approaches to regulating incidental take of migratory birds, including issuance of general incidental take authorizations for some types of hazards to birds associated with particular industry sectors; issuance of individual permits authorizing incidental take from particular projects or activities; development of memoranda of understanding with Federal agencies authorizing incidental take from those agencies' operations and activities; and/or development of voluntary guidance for industry sectors regarding operational techniques or technologies that can avoid or minimize incidental take. The rulemaking would establish appropriate standards for any such regulatory approach to ensure that incidental take of migratory birds is appropriately mitigated, which may include requiring measures to avoid or minimize take or securing compensation. We invite input from other Federal and State agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and members of the public on the scope of the PEIS, the pertinent issues we should address, and alternatives to our proposed approaches for regulating incidental take.