National - Endangered Species Bill Passes in the House of Representatives
On September 29, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3824, the
"Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005", by a vote of 226 to 193. Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert, Rep. George Miller and six other House members proposed a substitute amendment that was defeated by a vote of 206 to 216. Chairman Pombo's manager amendment, which includes language to transfer all Endangered Species Act (ESA) duties and responsibilities to the Secretary of the Interior, was agreed to by voice vote.
Changes to the ESA include repeal of critical habitat requirements, a requirement to write a recovery plan within 2 years of the listing determination, a provision allowing recovery plan implementation agreements between the Secretary and other federal agencies, a provision codifying the No Surprises/Assurances policy for persons developing habitat conservation plans, and compensation for landowners for the fair market value of lost use of their property. Additional information can be found at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/
. The bill must be considered and approved by the Senate before any changes to the ESA take effect.