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H.R. 5585 (116th): Listing Reform Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 1, 2020.

Listing Reform Act

This bill modifies requirements concerning the review of petitions to add a species to the list of endangered or threatened species or to remove a species from the list.

Specifically, the bill allows the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce to prioritize the consideration of petitions to list a species as endangered or threatened other than in the order in which the petitions are received. The appropriate department may not give general priority to petitions to add species to the list of endangered or threatened species over petitions to remove a species from the list.

The deadline for the appropriate department to decide on whether or not a petition to list or remove a species should be granted is changed from within 12 months to as expeditiously as possible.

The appropriate department is given the authority to preclude the listing of a species as threatened due to the likelihood of significant, cumulative economic effects that would result from such listing or from the likely resulting designation of critical habitat of the species. Once a petition is precluded due to those economic effects, the appropriate department may not reconsider that finding unless the department (1) determines there is endangerment of extinction of the species; or (2) receives a new petition to add the species to the list that includes an analyses concluding that alternative actions are possible other than those resulting in significant, cumulative economic effects.