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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Debra Shearwater et.al. v FWS and AWEA: Eagle 30-year take permit decision

In this very critical decision by the US District Court of Northern District of California (Judge Lucy H. Koh), the 30-year take permits for bald and golden eagles established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been set aside and remanded back to the Service. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. Link here to read original via WIND ACTION.ORG

NEPA Conclusion (Excerpt from Ruling)

In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that FWS has failed to show an adequate basis in the record for deciding not to prepare an EIS—much less an EA—prior to increasing the maximum duration for programmatic eagle take permits by sixfold. See Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Ctr., 468 F.3d at 562 (“[N]ot only did [the agency] fail to conduct an EIS . . . , it did not even conduct an EA.”). While promoting renewable energy projects may well be a “worthy goal, it is no substitute for the [agency’s] obligations to comply with NEPA and to conduct a studied review and response to concerns about the environmental implications of major agency action.” Kraayenbrink, 632 F.3d at 492. Accordingly, the Court holds that FWS violated NEPA’s procedural requirements and that the Final 30-Year Rule must therefore be set aside and remanded to FWS for further consideration.

1 comment:

Mas as hell said...

Elections have consequences.

The head (Director) of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is an Obama appointee. Many people fail to appreciate how much the hundreds of high level policy making agency appointees who follow any president into office shape the attitudes and policy of that administration.

In this matter the FWS Director saw it as his job to accommodate the wind industry rather than protect wildlife. He got that direction from above.

Good ruling from this conscientious judge.