Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we''), add a definition of ``habitat'' to our regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This rulemaking responds to Supreme Court case law regarding the designation of critical habitat and provides transparency, clarity, and consistency for stakeholders.
Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan; Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Bluff Point Wind Energy Center, Jay and Randolph Counties, Indiana
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from NextEra Energy Bluff Point LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for its Bluff Point Wind Energy Center (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 30-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan (HCP) that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. We also announce the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment (DEA), which has been prepared in response to the permit application in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We request public comment on the application, the DEA, and associated documents.