​On July 25, 2018, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), collectively the Services, published three proposed rules aimed at reforming portions of their regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed changes are to ESA Sections 4 and 7, with the intent of (1) revising how “take” prohibitions for activities are extended to threatened species, (2) reforming the procedures and criteria used for listing or delisting species and designating critical habitat, and (3) improving and clarifying interagency Section 7 consultation processes. The proposed rules closely align with NRECA advocacy efforts to make the ESA more efficient, effective, and less costly, while striking a balance that accommodates essential electric cooperative activities and conserves America’s natural resources. NRECA filed comments on the proposed rules on September 24, 2018. NRECA prepared a summary of the proposed ESA regulatory improvements.

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