Comments period on 30-year eagle takings permit extended - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Comments period on 30-year eagle takings permit extended

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The period for commenting on a proposal to create a longer, 30-year federal permit for non-purposeful killings of eagles by wind energy and other projects has been extended to July 12.

Proposed on April 13, the revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations governing permits for the unavoidable "takings," or killings, of golden eagles and bald eagles would extend the maximum permit time from five years to 30 years, if the permit includes conservation measures where necessary to promote the preservation of eagles.

This change would facilitate the responsible development of renewable energy and other projects that will be in operation for many decades, the agency has said, while being consistent with statutory mandates protecting eagles.

The proposal would set an application processing fee for long-term permits at $36,000. It would impose an administration fee to cover costs of monitoring and working with permittees over the lives of the permits, ranging from $2,600 to $15,600 depending on the duration of a permit. Small wind and other projects not expected to have significant effects on eagles would have a permit fee of $5,000.

Comments originally were to be accepted through May 14; the agency extended the comment period on May 1 to July 12.

The USFWS also is seeking recommendations to create a more efficient permit process; those comments may be submitted by May 14.

Information about the proposal and how to comment electronically or by mail may be found on the USFWS website.

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