National Marine Fisheries Service

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Strikes Down HCP: No Piggybacks Under Section 10

While decisions dealing with lawsuits alleging violations of section 7 or section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are rather common, it is far less common for courts to address suits under section 10. In fact, in any...more

Endangered Species Rule Roundup: April 6-7, 2015

After a relatively quiet start to the year, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) have issued findings and rules regarding the proposed listings of four separate species under the...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Accepts Two Petitions to List the Porbeagle Shark

On March 27, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) accepted two petitions asking NMFS to list the Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act either throughout the...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Declines to List Distinct Population Segment of Harbor Porpoise in the Baltic Sea

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a 12-month finding concluding that listing a distinct population segment (DPS) of the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic Sea as...more

Can Comments By a Federal Employee Result in a Taking Requiring Compensation Under the Fifth Amendment?

It depends. A recent decision out of the Federal Circuit tackled this very issue, and the court’s decision strongly suggests that a taking could arise under the right circumstances. (Filler v. U.S. (Fed. Cir. Mar. 10, 2015)...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues a 90-Day Finding and a Proposed Rule

On March 3, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued two Federal Register notices – a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) as either threatened or endangered, and...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Considering Revision to Critical Habitat Designation for Southern Resident Killer Whales

On February 24, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced a 12-month finding on the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident...more

Federal Agencies Revise Killer Whale Listing to Include Whales Held in Captivity

On February 10, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (“Services”) issued a final rule (pdf) to include captive killer whales in the Southern Resident killer whale...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Extends Comment Period for Proposed Arctic Ringed Seal Critical Habitat Designation

On February 2, 2015 the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Service”) announced its plan to extend the period for public comments on its December 3, 2014 proposed designation of critical habitat for the threatened Arctic...more

NMFS Issues New BiOp for Pesticide Effects on Pacific Salmon, but the Methodology Used and Mitigation Proposed Remain...

On January 20, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued its latest Biological Opinion (BiOp) in a series of BiOps evaluating potential effects of pesticide use on salmon in the Pacific Northwest....more

Legislative Water Update

Conversations Among Federal Lawmakers May Lead to New Water Legislation - A number of conversations are occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between the House and the U.S. Senate (particularly Rep. David...more

Endangered Species Act Year End Roundup: FWS Issues Findings on A Listing Petition and NMFS Issues A Correction

Coming in just under the wire for the New Year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published new rules on December 31, 2014, making December a very busy month for Endangered...more

Fish Two, Water Withdrawals Zero: The 9th Circuit Affirms Another Biological Opinion

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt another blow to traditional operation of the massive water projects that supply California’s Central Valley. The Court reversed those parts of a District Court opinion that...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - New Critical Habitat for Gulf of Maine Atlantic Sturgeon to be Designated - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has agreed to designate critical habitat...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Lists Five Species of Sawfish as Endangered

The National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) recently published its final rule listing five species of sawfish as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The final rule contains the Service’s determination that...more

NMFS Publishes Corrected Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Arctic Ringed Seal

On December 9, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Secretary of Commerce published a revised proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal. The previous proposed rule was published...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Biological Opinion for Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit Program

On November 24, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Nationwide Permit Program under the Clean Water Act. The BiOp...more

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat for the Threatened Arctic Ringed Seal

On December 3, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published its proposed rule designating critical habitat for the threatened Arctic Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida hispida). (79 Fed. Reg. 71,714)....more

NMFS Finds Listing Not Warranted for Queen Conch

On November 5, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a 12-month finding for the queen conch (Strombus gigas), concluding that the species prized for its meat and shell does not warrant listing because it is “not...more

California Federal District Court Grants Partial Dismissal to Suit Alleging Violations of the Endangered Species Act

Earlier this month, a federal district court in California partially granted motions to dismiss a second amended complaint filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticide Action Network alleging that the...more

Court Allows ESA Claims Involving Oversight of Pesticides to Move Forward

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293-JCS, plaintiffs alleged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by failing to...more

Critical Habitat and the Endangered Species Act: Proposed Revisions to Fundamental Regulatory Concepts

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) issued notices of proposed rules and a proposed policy related to the designation of...more

EPA Guidance on Pesticide Drift Will Affect Product Registrations

How to address and manage potential risks posed by pesticide “drift” -- the unintentional movement of some level of pesticide outside of the intended area of application -- has long been a challenging, complex regulatory...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Change Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have proposed two important new rules implementing the critical habitat provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 79 Fed.Reg. 27060 (May 12,...more

NMFS Releases Final Recovery Plan for Central Valley Salmonids

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released its final recovery plan for Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead. Sacramento River...more

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