Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
10/15/1978--Conference report filed in House.
(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 95-1804) Endangered Species Act Amendments - Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to set forth procedures to be followed by the Secretary of the Interior and other Federal agencies in reviewing agency actions to assure that such actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
Establishes a procedure for the application for and review of an exemption from the prohibition against agency actions which jeopardize endangered or threatened species or critical habitat.
Provides that upon receipt of an application for such exemption the Secretary of the Interior shall notify the Governor of each State affected and request the Governors to recommend individuals to be appointed to a review board established pursuant to this Act, which will initially consider such applications and to the Endangered Species Committee, established by this Act, which shall review such applications if the review board determines that an irresolvable conflict exists.
Defines "irresolvable conflict" as a situation in which the completion of agency action would jeopardize the continued existence of an endangered or threatened species or harm critical habitat.
States that a review board shall consist of three members:
(1) one appointed by the Secretary;
(2) one appointed by the President after consideration of any recommendations received from Governors of affected States; and
(3) an administrative law judge.
Stipulates that any determination by such board that an irresolvable conflict does not exist or that the applicant has not carried out specified responsibilities shall be considered final agency action.
Stipulates that if the board determines that an irresolvable conflict does exist the board shall submit to the Committee a report containing specified information.
States that the Committee shall be composed of seven members:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture;
(2) the Secretary of the Army;
(3) the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors;
(4) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
(5) the Secretary of the Interior;
(6) the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
(7) and an individual appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Governors of the States to be affected by the exemption.
Authorizes the Committee to grant an exemption if:
(1) there are no reasonable and prudent alternatives to the agency action;
(2) the benefits of such action clearly outweigh the benefits of alternative courses of action consistent with conserving the species or its critical habitat, and such action is in the public interest;
(3) the action is of regional or national significance; and
(4) it establishes reasonable mitigation and enhancement measures as necessary to mitigate the adverse effects of the agency action upon the endangered species, threatened species, or critical habitat concerned.
Prohibits the Committee from granting an exemption if the Secretary of State has determined the proposed agency action to be in violation of any international obligation.
States that an exemption shall not be considered a major Federal action for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Sets forth the procedure for judicial review of Committee decisions.
Declares that the President may grant exceptions to the requirements of the Act in major disaster areas.
Makes provisions for raptors held legally in captivity or in a controlled environment on the effective date of this Act. Exempts certain imported antique articles from certain restrictions of the Act relating to possession and dealing in endangered species.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, to designate one port within each customs region where such antique articles must enter the United States. Declares that any person who forfeited such imported antique articles to the United States before the enactment of this Act may, before the close of a one year period after enactment, make application to the Secretary of Interior for return of the article.
Directs the Committee, within 30 days after the enactment of this Act, to consider the exemption of the Tellico and Greyrocks Projects from the requirements of this Act. Requires that for the imposition of a civil penalty for violation of the Act, the offense must have been committed knowingly and provides that a person acting in self-defense shall not have any penalty imposed.
Authorizes appropriations necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with any State in the implementation of programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species.
Revises the procedures to be followed by the Secretary of the Interior in issuing regulations under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and directs the Secretary to review the endangered species list at least once every five years and to publish, in the Federal register, any final regulation which adds a species to the endangered list, not later than two years after the date of the regulations.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to develop and implement plans for the conservation and survival of endangered and threatened species.
Directs the Secretary in determining the critical habitat of any endangered or threatened species to consider the economic impact of specifying an area as a critical habitat.
Authorizes the Secretary to exclude such area from the critical habitat if it is determined that the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying the area as part of a critical habitat, unless it is determined that failure to designate such area as a critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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