On September 30, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to amend its eagle permit regulations (Proposed Rule) administered in accordance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). The Proposed Rule seeks to improve administration of the eagle permit program by establishing a general permit pathway for eligible wind energy and power line applicants for incidental take of golden eagles and bald eagles. Eligibility criteria proposed by the Service for participation in the general permit program include factors such as eagle abundance and nest proximity. The Proposed Rule also establishes general permits for disturbance of bald eagle nests and removal of bald eagle nests under most circumstances. At the same time, the Service has published a draft environmental assessment evaluating alternatives to its proposed general permits. The Proposed Rule arises as part of a court settlement from a lawsuit brought by the Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition challenging the eagle permit regulations. The public will have until November 29, 2022 to submit comments on the Proposed Rule.
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