16 U.S. Code § 1536 - Interagency cooperation

(a) Federal agency actions and consultations
(1) The Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. All other Federal agencies shall, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter by carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered species and threatened species listed pursuant to section 1533 of this title.
(2) Each Federal agency shall, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency (hereinafter in this section referred to as an “agency action”) is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species which is determined by the Secretary, after consultation as appropriate with affected States, to be critical, unless such agency has been granted an exemption for such action by the Committee pursuant to subsection (h) of this section. In fulfilling the requirements of this paragraph each agency shall use the best scientific and commercial data available.
(3) Subject to such guidelines as the Secretary may establish, a Federal agency shall consult with the Secretary on any prospective agency action at the request of, and in cooperation with, the prospective permit or license applicant if the applicant has reason to believe that an endangered species or a threatened species may be present in the area affected by his project and that implementation of such action will likely affect such species.
(4) Each Federal agency shall confer with the Secretary on any agency action which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species proposed to be listed under section 1533 of this title or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat proposed to be designated for such species. This paragraph does not require a limitation on the commitment of resources as described in subsection (d) of this section.
(b) Opinion of Secretary
(1)
(A) Consultation under subsection (a)(2) of this section with respect to any agency action shall be concluded within the 90-day period beginning on the date on which initiated or, subject to subparagraph (B), within such other period of time as is mutually agreeable to the Secretary and the Federal agency.
(B) In the case of an agency action involving a permit or license applicant, the Secretary and the Federal agency may not mutually agree to conclude consultation within a period exceeding 90 days unless the Secretary, before the close of the 90th day referred to in subparagraph (A)—
(i) if the consultation period proposed to be agreed to will end before the 150th day after the date on which consultation was initiated, submits to the applicant a written statement setting forth—
(I) the reasons why a longer period is required,
(II) the information that is required to complete the consultation, and
(III) the estimated date on which consultation will be completed; or
(ii) if the consultation period proposed to be agreed to will end 150 or more days after the date on which consultation was initiated, obtains the consent of the applicant to such period.
The Secretary and the Federal agency may mutually agree to extend a consultation period established under the preceding sentence if the Secretary, before the close of such period, obtains the consent of the applicant to the extension.
(2) Consultation under subsection (a)(3) of this section shall be concluded within such period as is agreeable to the Secretary, the Federal agency, and the applicant concerned.
(3)
(A) Promptly after conclusion of consultation under paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall provide to the Federal agency and the applicant, if any, a written statement setting forth the Secretary’s opinion, and a summary of the information on which the opinion is based, detailing how the agency action affects the species or its critical habitat. If jeopardy or adverse modification is found, the Secretary shall suggest those reasonable and prudent alternatives which he believes would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section and can be taken by the Federal agency or applicant in implementing the agency action.
(B) Consultation under subsection (a)(3) of this section, and an opinion issued by the Secretary incident to such consultation, regarding an agency action shall be treated respectively as a consultation under subsection (a)(2) of this section, and as an opinion issued after consultation under such subsection, regarding that action if the Secretary reviews the action before it is commenced by the Federal agency and finds, and notifies such agency, that no significant changes have been made with respect to the action and that no significant change has occurred regarding the information used during the initial consultation.
(4) If after consultation under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Secretary concludes that—
(A) the agency action will not violate such subsection, or offers reasonable and prudent alternatives which the Secretary believes would not violate such subsection;
(B) the taking of an endangered species or a threatened species incidental to the agency action will not violate such subsection; and
(C) if an endangered species or threatened species of a marine mammal is involved, the taking is authorized pursuant to section 1371 (a)(5) of this title;
the Secretary shall provide the Federal agency and the applicant concerned, if any, with a written statement that—
(i) specifies the impact of such incidental taking on the species,
(ii) specifies those reasonable and prudent measures that the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate to minimize such impact,
(iii) in the case of marine mammals, specifies those measures that are necessary to comply with section 1371 (a)(5) of this title with regard to such taking, and
(iv) sets forth the terms and conditions (including, but not limited to, reporting requirements) that must be complied with by the Federal agency or applicant (if any), or both, to implement the measures specified under clauses (ii) and (iii).
(c) Biological assessment
(1) To facilitate compliance with the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section, each Federal agency shall, with respect to any agency action of such agency for which no contract for construction has been entered into and for which no construction has begun on November 10, 1978, request of the Secretary information whether any species which is listed or proposed to be listed may be present in the area of such proposed action. If the Secretary advises, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, that such species may be present, such agency shall conduct a biological assessment for the purpose of identifying any endangered species or threatened species which is likely to be affected by such action. Such assessment shall be completed within 180 days after the date on which initiated (or within such other period as is mutually agreed to by the Secretary and such agency, except that if a permit or license applicant is involved, the 180-day period may not be extended unless such agency provides the applicant, before the close of such period, with a written statement setting forth the estimated length of the proposed extension and the reasons therefor) and, before any contract for construction is entered into and before construction is begun with respect to such action. Such assessment may be undertaken as part of a Federal agency’s compliance with the requirements of section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).
(2) Any person who may wish to apply for an exemption under subsection (g) of this section for that action may conduct a biological assessment to identify any endangered species or threatened species which is likely to be affected by such action. Any such biological assessment must, however, be conducted in cooperation with the Secretary and under the supervision of the appropriate Federal agency.
(d) Limitation on commitment of resources
After initiation of consultation required under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Federal agency and the permit or license applicant shall not make any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources with respect to the agency action which has the effect of foreclosing the formulation or implementation of any reasonable and prudent alternative measures which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section.
(e) Endangered Species Committee
(1) There is established a committee to be known as the Endangered Species Committee (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Committee”).
(2) The Committee shall review any application submitted to it pursuant to this section and determine in accordance with subsection (h) of this section whether or not to grant an exemption from the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section for the action set forth in such application.
(3) The Committee shall be composed of seven members as follows:
(A) The Secretary of Agriculture.
(B) The Secretary of the Army.
(C) The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
(D) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(E) The Secretary of the Interior.
(F) The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(G) The President, after consideration of any recommendations received pursuant to subsection (g)(2)(B) of this section shall appoint one individual from each affected State, as determined by the Secretary, to be a member of the Committee for the consideration of the application for exemption for an agency action with respect to which such recommendations are made, not later than 30 days after an application is submitted pursuant to this section.
(4)
(A) Members of the Committee shall receive no additional pay on account of their service on the Committee.
(B) While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Committee, members of the Committee shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
(5)
(A) Five members of the Committee or their representatives shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any function of the Committee, except that, in no case shall any representative be considered in determining the existence of a quorum for the transaction of any function of the Committee if that function involves a vote by the Committee on any matter before the Committee.
(B) The Secretary of the Interior shall be the Chairman of the Committee.
(C) The Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairman or five of its members.
(D) All meetings and records of the Committee shall be open to the public.
(6) Upon request of the Committee, the head of any Federal agency is authorized to detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to the Committee to assist it in carrying out its duties under this section.
(7)
(A) The Committee may for the purpose of carrying out its duties under this section hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence, as the Committee deems advisable.
(B) When so authorized by the Committee, any member or agent of the Committee may take any action which the Committee is authorized to take by this paragraph.
(C) Subject to the Privacy Act [5 U.S.C. 552a], the Committee may secure directly from any Federal agency information necessary to enable it to carry out its duties under this section. Upon request of the Chairman of the Committee, the head of such Federal agency shall furnish such information to the Committee.
(D) The Committee may use the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as a Federal agency.
(E) The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Committee on a reimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Committee may request.
(8) In carrying out its duties under this section, the Committee may promulgate and amend such rules, regulations, and procedures, and issue and amend such orders as it deems necessary.
(9) For the purpose of obtaining information necessary for the consideration of an application for an exemption under this section the Committee may issue subpenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant papers, books, and documents.
(10) In no case shall any representative, including a representative of a member designated pursuant to paragraph (3)(G) of this subsection, be eligible to cast a vote on behalf of any member.
(f) Promulgation of regulations; form and contents of exemption application
Not later than 90 days after November 10, 1978, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations which set forth the form and manner in which applications for exemption shall be submitted to the Secretary and the information to be contained in such applications. Such regulations shall require that information submitted in an application by the head of any Federal agency with respect to any agency action include, but not be limited to—
(1) a description of the consultation process carried out pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section between the head of the Federal agency and the Secretary; and
(2) a statement describing why such action cannot be altered or modified to conform with the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section.
(g) Application for exemption; report to Committee
(1) A Federal agency, the Governor of the State in which an agency action will occur, if any, or a permit or license applicant may apply to the Secretary for an exemption for an agency action of such agency if, after consultation under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Secretary’s opinion under subsection (b) of this section indicates that the agency action would violate subsection (a)(2) of this section. An application for an exemption shall be considered initially by the Secretary in the manner provided for in this subsection, and shall be considered by the Committee for a final determination under subsection (h) of this section after a report is made pursuant to paragraph (5). The applicant for an exemption shall be referred to as the “exemption applicant” in this section.
(2)
(A) An exemption applicant shall submit a written application to the Secretary, in a form prescribed under subsection (f) of this section, not later than 90 days after the completion of the consultation process; except that, in the case of any agency action involving a permit or license applicant, such application shall be submitted not later than 90 days after the date on which the Federal agency concerned takes final agency action with respect to the issuance of the permit or license. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “final agency action” means
(i) a disposition by an agency with respect to the issuance of a permit or license that is subject to administrative review, whether or not such disposition is subject to judicial review; or
(ii) if administrative review is sought with respect to such disposition, the decision resulting after such review. Such application shall set forth the reasons why the exemption applicant considers that the agency action meets the requirements for an exemption under this subsection.
(B) Upon receipt of an application for exemption for an agency action under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall promptly
(i) notify the Governor of each affected State, if any, as determined by the Secretary, and request the Governors so notified to recommend individuals to be appointed to the Endangered Species Committee for consideration of such application; and
(ii) publish notice of receipt of the application in the Federal Register, including a summary of the information contained in the application and a description of the agency action with respect to which the application for exemption has been filed.
(3) The Secretary shall within 20 days after the receipt of an application for exemption, or within such other period of time as is mutually agreeable to the exemption applicant and the Secretary—
(A) determine that the Federal agency concerned and the exemption applicant have—
(i) carried out the consultation responsibilities described in subsection (a) of this section in good faith and made a reasonable and responsible effort to develop and fairly consider modifications or reasonable and prudent alternatives to the proposed agency action which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section;
(ii) conducted any biological assessment required by subsection (c) of this section; and
(iii) to the extent determinable within the time provided herein, refrained from making any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources prohibited by subsection (d) of this section; or
(B) deny the application for exemption because the Federal agency concerned or the exemption applicant have not met the requirements set forth in subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), and (iii).
The denial of an application under subparagraph (B) shall be considered final agency action for purposes of chapter 7 of title 5.
(4) If the Secretary determines that the Federal agency concerned and the exemption applicant have met the requirements set forth in paragraph (3)(A)(i), (ii), and (iii) he shall, in consultation with the Members of the Committee, hold a hearing on the application for exemption in accordance with sections 554, 555, and 556 (other than subsection (b)(1) and (2) thereof) of title 5 and prepare the report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (5).
(5) Within 140 days after making the determinations under paragraph (3) or within such other period of time as is mutually agreeable to the exemption applicant and the Secretary, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee a report discussing—
(A) the availability of reasonable and prudent alternatives to the agency action, and the nature and extent of the benefits of the agency action and of alternative courses of action consistent with conserving the species or the critical habitat;
(B) a summary of the evidence concerning whether or not the agency action is in the public interest and is of national or regional significance;
(C) appropriate reasonable mitigation and enhancement measures which should be considered by the Committee; and
(D) whether the Federal agency concerned and the exemption applicant refrained from making any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources prohibited by subsection (d) of this section.
(6) To the extent practicable within the time required for action under subsection (g) of this section, and except to the extent inconsistent with the requirements of this section, the consideration of any application for an exemption under this section and the conduct of any hearing under this subsection shall be in accordance with sections 554, 555, and 556 (other than subsection (b)(3) ofsection 556) of title 5.
(7) Upon request of the Secretary, the head of any Federal agency is authorized to detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to the Secretary to assist him in carrying out his duties under this section.
(8) All meetings and records resulting from activities pursuant to this subsection shall be open to the public.
(h) Grant of exemption
(1) The Committee shall make a final determination whether or not to grant an exemption within 30 days after receiving the report of the Secretary pursuant to subsection (g)(5) of this section. The Committee shall grant an exemption from the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section for an agency action if, by a vote of not less than five of its members voting in person—
(A) it determines on the record, based on the report of the Secretary, the record of the hearing held under subsection (g)(4) of this section and on such other testimony or evidence as it may receive, that—
(i) there are no reasonable and prudent alternatives to the agency action;
(ii) 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;
(iii) the action is of regional or national significance; and
(iv) neither the Federal agency concerned nor the exemption applicant made any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources prohibited by subsection (d) of this section; and
(B) it establishes such reasonable mitigation and enhancement measures, including, but not limited to, live propagation, transplantation, and habitat acquisition and improvement, as are necessary and appropriate to minimize the adverse effects of the agency action upon the endangered species, threatened species, or critical habitat concerned.
Any final determination by the Committee under this subsection shall be considered final agency action for purposes of chapter 7 of title 5.
(2)
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an exemption for an agency action granted under paragraph (1) shall constitute a permanent exemption with respect to all endangered or threatened species for the purposes of completing such agency action—
(i) regardless whether the species was identified in the biological assessment; and
(ii) only if a biological assessment has been conducted under subsection (c) of this section with respect to such agency action.
(B) An exemption shall be permanent under subparagraph (A) unless—
(i) the Secretary finds, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, that such exemption would result in the extinction of a species that was not the subject of consultation under subsection (a)(2) of this section or was not identified in any biological assessment conducted under subsection (c) of this section, and
(ii) the Committee determines within 60 days after the date of the Secretary’s finding that the exemption should not be permanent.
If the Secretary makes a finding described in clause (i), the Committee shall meet with respect to the matter within 30 days after the date of the finding.
(i) Review by Secretary of State; violation of international treaty or other international obligation of United States
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Committee shall be prohibited from considering for exemption any application made to it, if the Secretary of State, after a review of the proposed agency action and its potential implications, and after hearing, certifies, in writing, to the Committee within 60 days of any application made under this section that the granting of any such exemption and the carrying out of such action would be in violation of an international treaty obligation or other international obligation of the United States. The Secretary of State shall, at the time of such certification, publish a copy thereof in the Federal Register.
(j) Exemption for national security reasons
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Committee shall grant an exemption for any agency action if the Secretary of Defense finds that such exemption is necessary for reasons of national security.
(k) Exemption decision not considered major Federal action; environmental impact statement
An exemption decision by the Committee under this section shall not be a major Federal action for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.]: Provided, That an environmental impact statement which discusses the impacts upon endangered species or threatened species or their critical habitats shall have been previously prepared with respect to any agency action exempted by such order.
(l) Committee order granting exemption; cost of mitigation and enhancement measures; report by applicant to Council on Environmental Quality
(1) If the Committee determines under subsection (h) of this section that an exemption should be granted with respect to any agency action, the Committee shall issue an order granting the exemption and specifying the mitigation and enhancement measures established pursuant to subsection (h) of this section which shall be carried out and paid for by the exemption applicant in implementing the agency action. All necessary mitigation and enhancement measures shall be authorized prior to the implementing of the agency action and funded concurrently with all other project features.
(2) The applicant receiving such exemption shall include the costs of such mitigation and enhancement measures within the overall costs of continuing the proposed action. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence the costs of such measures shall not be treated as project costs for the purpose of computing benefit-cost or other ratios for the proposed action. Any applicant may request the Secretary to carry out such mitigation and enhancement measures. The costs incurred by the Secretary in carrying out any such measures shall be paid by the applicant receiving the exemption. No later than one year after the granting of an exemption, the exemption applicant shall submit to the Council on Environmental Quality a report describing its compliance with the mitigation and enhancement measures prescribed by this section. Such a report shall be submitted annually until all such mitigation and enhancement measures have been completed. Notice of the public availability of such reports shall be published in the Federal Register by the Council on Environmental Quality.
(m) Notice requirement for citizen suits not applicable
The 60-day notice requirement of section 1540 (g) of this title shall not apply with respect to review of any final determination of the Committee under subsection (h) of this section granting an exemption from the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section.
(n) Judicial review
Any person, as defined by section 1532 (13) of this title, may obtain judicial review, under chapter 7 of title 5, of any decision of the Endangered Species Committee under subsection (h) of this section in the United States Court of Appeals for
(1) any circuit wherein the agency action concerned will be, or is being, carried out, or
(2) in any case in which the agency action will be, or is being, carried out outside of any circuit, the District of Columbia, by filing in such court within 90 days after the date of issuance of the decision, a written petition for review. A copy of such petition shall be transmitted by the clerk of the court to the Committee and the Committee shall file in the court the record in the proceeding, as provided in section 2112 of title 28. Attorneys designated by the Endangered Species Committee may appear for, and represent the Committee in any action for review under this subsection.
(o) Exemption as providing exception on taking of endangered species
Notwithstanding sections 1533 (d) and 1538 (a)(1)(B) and (C) of this title, sections 1371 and 1372 of this title, or any regulation promulgated to implement any such section—
(1) any action for which an exemption is granted under subsection (h) of this section shall not be considered to be a taking of any endangered species or threatened species with respect to any activity which is necessary to carry out such action; and
(2) any taking that is in compliance with the terms and conditions specified in a written statement provided under subsection (b)(4)(iv) of this section shall not be considered to be a prohibited taking of the species concerned.
(p) Exemptions in Presidentially declared disaster areas
In any area which has been declared by the President to be a major disaster area under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.], the President is authorized to make the determinations required by subsections (g) and (h) of this section for any project for the repair or replacement of a public facility substantially as it existed prior to the disaster under section 405 or 406 of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [42 U.S.C. 5171 or 5172], and which the President determines
(1) is necessary to prevent the recurrence of such a natural disaster and to reduce the potential loss of human life, and
(2) to involve an emergency situation which does not allow the ordinary procedures of this section to be followed. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Committee shall accept the determinations of the President under this subsection.

Source

(Pub. L. 93–205, § 7,Dec. 28, 1973, 87 Stat. 892; Pub. L. 95–632, § 3,Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3752; Pub. L. 96–159, § 4,Dec. 28, 1979, 93 Stat. 1226; Pub. L. 97–304, §§ 4(a), 8 (b),Oct. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1417, 1426; Pub. L. 99–659, title IV, § 411(b), (c),Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3741, 3742; Pub. L. 100–707, title I, § 109(g),Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4709.)
References in Text

The Privacy Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(7)(C), is probably a reference to section 552a of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. See Short Title note set out under section 552a of Title 5.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (k), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§ 4321 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of Title 42 and Tables.
The Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, referred to in subsec. (p), is Pub. L. 93–288, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 143, as amended, known as the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which is classified principally to chapter 68 (§ 5121 et seq.) of Title 42. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5121 of Title 42 and Tables.
Amendments

1988—Subsec. (p). Pub. L. 100–707substituted “the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act” for “the Disaster Relief Act of 1974” and “section 405 or 406 of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act” for “section 401 or 402 of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974”.
1986—Subsec. (b)(4)(C). Pub. L. 99–659, § 411(b)(1)–(3), added subpar. (C).
Subsec. (b)(4)(iii), (iv). Pub. L. 99–659, § 411(b)(4)–(6), added cl. (iii), redesignated former cl. (iii) as (iv), and in cl. (iv), as so redesignated, inserted reference to cl. (iii).
Subsec. (o). Pub. L. 99–659, § 411(c)(1), in introductory provisions, inserted “, sections 1371 and 1372 of this title,”, and substituted “any” for “either” after “implement”.
Subsec. (o)(2). Pub. L. 99–659, § 411(c)(2), substituted “subsection (b)(4)(iv)” for “subsection (b)(4)(iii)” and inserted “prohibited” before “taking of the species”.
1982—Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(1), added par. (3) and redesignated former par. (3) as (4).
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(2), incorporated existing provisions into pars. (1)(A) and (3)(A) and added pars. (1)(B), (2), (3)(B), and (4).
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(3), inserted “, except that if a permit or license applicant is involved, the 180-day period may not be extended unless such agency provides the applicant, before the close of such period, with a written statement setting forth the estimated length of the proposed extension and the reasons therefor” after “agency” in parenthetical provision.
Subsec. (e)(10). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(4), struck out provision that, except in the case of a member designated pursuant to paragraph (3)(G) of this subsection, no member could designate any person to serve as his or her representative unless that person was, at the time of such designation, holding a Federal office the appointment to which was subject to the advice and consent of the United States Senate.
Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(B), substituted “An application for an exemption shall be considered initially by the Secretary in the manner provided for in this subsection, and shall be considered by the Committee for a final determination under subsection (h) of this section after a report is made pursuant to paragraph (5)” for “An application for an exemption shall be considered initially by a review board in the manner provided in this subsection, and shall be considered by the Endangered Species Committee for a final determination under subsection (h) of this section after a report is made by the review board”.
Subsec. (g)(2)(A). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(C)(i), substituted “An exemption applicant shall submit a written application to the Secretary, in a form prescribed under subsection (f) of this section, not later than 90 days after the completion of the consultation process; except that, in the case of any agency action involving a permit or license applicant, such application shall be submitted not later than 90 days after the date on which the Federal agency concerned takes final agency action with respect to the issuance of the permit or license” for “An exemption applicant shall submit a written application to the Secretary, in a form prescribed under subsection (f) of this section, not later than 90 days after the completion of the consultation process; or, in the case of any agency action involving a permit or license applicant, not later than 90 days after the date on which the Federal agency concerned takes final agency action, for purposes of chapter 7 of title 5, with respect to the issuance of the permit or license” and inserted provision that, “For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term ‘final agency action’ means (i) a disposition by an agency with respect to the issuance of a permit or license that is subject to administrative review, whether or not such disposition is subject to judicial review; or (ii) if administrative review is sought with respect to such disposition, the decision resulting after such review.”
Subsec. (g)(2)(B). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(C)(ii), inserted “(i)” after “the Secretary shall promptly”, struck out “to the review board to be established under paragraph (3) and” after “individuals to be appointed” in cl. (i) as so designated, and added cl. (ii).
Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(D), (E), redesignated par. (5) as (3) and substituted provisions directing the Secretary, within 20 days after the receipt of an application for exemption, or within such other period of time as is mutually agreeable to the exemption applicant and the Secretary, to (A) determine that the Federal agency concerned and the exemption applicant have (i) carried out the consultation responsibilities described in subsection (a) of this section in good faith and made a reasonable and responsible effort to develop and fairly consider modifications or reasonable and prudent alternatives to the proposed agency action which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section, (ii) conducted any biological assessment required by subsection (c) of this section, and (iii) to the extent determinable within the time provided herein, refrained from making any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources prohibited by subsection (d) of this section, or (B) deny the application for exemption because the Federal agency concerned or the exemption applicant have not met the requirements set forth in subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), and (iii), and providing that the denial of an application under subparagraph (B) shall be considered final agency action for purposes of chapter 7 of title 5, for provisions placing upon the review board appointed under former par. (3) the duty to make a full review of the consultation carried out under subsection (a)(2) of this section, and within 60 days after its appointment or within such longer time as was mutually agreed upon between the exemption applicant and the Secretary, to make a determination, by a majority vote, (A) whether an irresolvable conflict existed and (B) whether the Federal agency concerned and such exemption applicant had (i) carried out its consultation responsibilities as described in subsection (a) of this section in good faith and made a reasonable and responsible effort to develop and fairly consider modifications or reasonable and prudent alternatives to the proposed agency action which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section, (ii) conducted any biological assessment required of it by subsection (c) of this section, and (iii) refrained from making any irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources prohibited by subsection (d) of this section, and providing that any determination by the review board that an irresolvable conflict did not exist or that the Federal agency concerned or the exemption applicant had not met its respective requirements under subclause (i), (ii), or (iii) was to be considered final agency action for purposes of chapter 7 of title 5. Former par. (3), providing for the establishment and functions of a review board to consider applications for exemptions and to submit reports to the Endangered Species Committee, was struck out.
Subsec. (g)(4). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(D), (F), redesignated par. (6) as (4) and substituted “If the Secretary determines that the Federal agency concerned and the exemption applicant have met the requirements set forth in paragraph (3)(A)(i), (ii), and (iii) he shall, in consultation with the Members of the Committee, hold a hearing on the application for exemption in accordance with sections 554, 555, and 556 (other than subsection (b)(1) and (2) thereof) of title 5 and prepare the report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (5)” for “If the review board determines that an irresolvable conflict exists and makes positive determinations under subclauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of paragraph (5), it shall proceed to prepare the report to be submitted under paragraph (7)”. Former par. (4), directing the Secretary to submit the application to the review board immediately after its appointment under paragraph (3), and to submit to the review board, in writing, his views and recommendations with respect to the application within 60 days after receiving a copy of any application under paragraph (2), was struck out.
Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(G), redesignated par. (7) as (5) and substituted “Within 140 days after making the determinations under paragraph (3) or within such other period of time as is mutually agreeable to the exemption applicant and the Secretary, the Secretary shall submit” for “Within 180 days after making the determinations under paragraph (6), the review board shall submit” in the provisions preceding subpar. (A), and added subpar. (D). Former par. (5) redesignated (3) and amended.
Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(H), redesignated par. (8) as (6). Former par. (6) redesignated (4) and amended.
Subsec. (g)(7). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(I), redesignated par. (10) as (7) and substituted “Upon request of the Secretary, the head of any Federal agency is authorized to detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to the Secretary to assist him in carrying out his duties under this section” for “Upon request of a review board, the head of any Federal agency is authorized to detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to the review board to assist it in carry out its duties under this section”. Former par. (7) redesignated (5) and amended.
Subsec. (g)(8). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(J), redesignated par. (12) as (8) and substituted “records resulting from activities pursuant to this subsection” for “records of review boards”. Former par. (8) redesignated (6).
Subsec. (g)(9). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(D), struck out par. (9) which had provided that the review board, in carrying out its duties, could (A) sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence, as the review board deemed advisable, (B) subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 [5 U.S.C. 552a], request of any Federal agency or applicant information necessary to enable it to carry out such duties, and upon such request the head of such Federal agency would furnish such information to the review board, and (C) use the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as a Federal agency.
Subsec. (g)(10). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(I), redesignated par. (10) as (7).
Subsec. (g)(11). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(D), struck out par. (11) which had provided that the Administrator of the General Services Administration provide to a review board, on a reimbursable basis, such administrative support services as the review board requested.
Subsec. (g)(12). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(5)(J), redesignated par. (12) as (8).
Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(6), substituted “within 30 days after receiving the report of the Secretary pursuant to subsection (g)(5) of this section” for “within 90 days of receiving the report of the review board under subsection (g)(7) of this section” in provisions preceding subpar. (A), substituted “report of the Secretary, the record of the hearing held under subsection (g)(4) of this section and on such other testimony” for “report of the review board and on such other testimony” in subpar. (A) preceding cl. (i), and added cl. (iv).
Subsec. (o). Pub. L. 97–304, § 4(a)(7), substituted “Notwithstanding sections 1533 (d) and 1538 (a)(1)(B) and (C) of this title or any regulation promulgated to implement either such section (1) any action for which an exemption is granted under subsection (h) of this section shall not be considered to be a taking of any endangered species or threatened species with respect to any activity which is necessary to carry out such action; and (2) any taking that is in compliance with the terms and conditions specified in a written statement provided under subsection (b)(4)(iii) of this section shall not be considered to be a taking of the species concerned” for “Notwithstanding sections 1533 (d) and 1538 (a) of this title or any regulations promulgated pursuant to such sections, any action for which an exemption is granted under subsection (h) of this section shall not be considered a taking of any endangered or threatened species with respect to any activity which is necessary to carry out such action”.
Subsec. (q). Pub. L. 97–304, § 8(b), struck out subsec. (q) which authorized appropriations of $600,000 for each of fiscal years 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982 in carrying out functions under subsecs. (e), (f), (g), and (h) of this section. See section 1542 (c) of this title.
1979—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1); struck out third sentence requirement that each Federal agency, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency (referred to as “agency action”) did not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species which was determined by the Secretary, after consultation as appropriate with the affected States, to be critical, unless the agency was granted an exemption for such action by the Committee pursuant to subsec. (h) of this section; and added pars. (2) and (3), incorporating former third sentence provisions.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(2), (3), substituted “he believes would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section and” for “he believes would avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or adversely modifying the critical habitat of such species, and which” before “can be taken” and introductory “subsection (a)(2) of this section” for “subsection (a) of this section”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), (4), substituted “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsec. (a)” of this section, designated existing provisions as so amended par. (1), and added par. (2).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), (5), substituted introductory words “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)” of this section and “alternative measures which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section” for “alternative measures which would avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or adversely modifying or destroying the critical habitat of any such species”.
Subsecs. (e)(2), (f). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), substituted “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)”.
Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), (6), substituted in first sentence “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)” of this section and “agency action would violate subsection (a)(2) of this section” for “agency action may jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or destroy or adversely modify the critical habitat of such species”.
Subsec. (g)(2)(A). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(7), required exemption applicant, to submit a written application, in the case of any agency action involving a permit or license applicant, not later than 90 days after the date on which the Federal agency concerned takes final agency action, for purposes of chapter 7 of Title 5, with respect to the issuance of the permit or license.
Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(8), added subpar. (B), and redesignated former subpar. (B) as (C).
Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), (9), substituted in introductory text and cl. (i) “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)” of this section; redesignated as cls. (A) and (B) former cls. (i) and (ii); inserted in cl. (B) “the Federal agency concerned and” before “such exemption applicant”; redesignated as subcls. (i) to (iii) former subcls. (A) to (C); substituted in subcl. (i) “agency action which would not violate subsection (a)(2) of this section” for “agency action which will avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of an endangered or threatened species or result in the adverse modification or destruction of a critical habitat”; and substituted in last sentence “the Federal agency concerned or the exemption applicant has not met its respective requirements under subclause (i), (ii), or (iii)” for “the exemption applicant has not met the requirements of subparagraph (A), (B), or (C)” preceding “shall be considered final agency action”.
Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(10), substituted “subclauses (i), (ii), and (iii)” for “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C)” of paragraph (5).
Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), substituted “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)” of this section.
Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(11), in subpar. (A), substituted “paragraph (1)” for “subsection (h) of this section”, inserted cl. (i), incorporated existing provisions in text designated cl. (ii), inserting thereto “with respect to such agency action”; in subpar. (B), incorporated existing provision in cl. (i), inserted findings provision respecting the extinction of a species that was not: the subject of consultation or identified in any biological assessment under subsec. (a)(2) or (c) of this section, added cl. (ii), deleted prior requirement for a Committee determination within 30 days of the Secretary’s finding that an exemption would result in extinction of the species whether to grant an exemption for the agency notwithstanding such finding, and superseded the same with requirement that the Committee meet with respect to the matter within 30 days after the date of such a finding.
Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(3), substituted “subsection (a)(2)” for “subsection (a)” of this section.
Subsec. (q). Pub. L. 96–159, § 4(12), authorized appropriations of $600,000 for fiscal years 1980 through 1982, and deleted appropriations authorization of $300,000 for period beginning Oct. 1, 1979, and ending Mar. 3, 1980, and requirement that the Chairman of the Committee report to the Congress before end of fiscal year 1979 with respect to adequacy of the budget authority.
1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–632designated existing provision as subsec. (a), inserted reference to agency action, substituted “adverse modification” for “modification”, and provided for the grant of an exemption for agency action by the Endangered Species Committee pursuant to subsec. (h) of this section.
Subsecs. (b) to (q). Pub. L. 95–632added subsecs. (b) to (q).
Deferral of Agency Action

Pub. L. 105–18, title II, § 3003,June 12, 1997, 111 Stat. 176, provided that:
“(a) Consultation and Conferencing.—As provided by regulations issued under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) for emergency situations, formal consultation or conferencing under section 7 (a)(2) orsection 7(a)(4) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536 (a)(2), (4)] for any action authorized, funded or carried out by any Federal agency to repair a Federal or non-Federal flood control project, facility or structure may be deferred by the Federal agency authorizing, funding or carrying out the action, if the agency determines that the repair is needed to respond to an emergency causing an imminent threat to human lives and property in 1996 or 1997. Formal consultation or conferencing shall be deferred until the imminent threat to human lives and property has been abated. For purposes of this section, the term repair shall include preventive and remedial measures to restore the project, facility or structure to remove an imminent threat to human lives and property.
“(b) Reasonable and Prudent Measures.—Any reasonable and prudent measures specified under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1536) to minimize the impact of an action taken under this section shall be related both in nature and extent to the effect of the action taken to repair the flood control project, facility or structure.”
Translocation of California Sea Otters

Pub. L. 99–625, § 1,Nov. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 3500, provided that:
“(a) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—
“(1) The term ‘Act’ means the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
“(2) The term ‘agency action’ has the meaning given that term in section 7(a)(2) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536 (a)(2)].
“(3) The term ‘experimental population’ means the population of sea otters provided for under a plan developed under subsection (b).
“(4) The phrase ‘parent population’ means the population of sea otters existing in California on the date on which proposed regulations setting forth a proposed plan under subsection (b) are issued.
“(5) The phrase ‘prospective action’ refers to any prospective agency action that—
“(A) may affect either the experimental population or the parent population; and
“(B) has evolved to the point where meaningful consultation under section 7(a)(2) or (3) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536 (a)(2), (3)] can take place.
“(6) The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.
“(7) The term ‘Service’ means the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
“(b) Plan Specifications.—The Secretary may develop and implement, in accordance with this section, a plan for the relocation and management of a population of California sea otters from the existing range of the parent population to another location. The plan, which must be developed by regulation and administered by the Service in cooperation with the appropriate State agency, shall include the following:
“(1) The number, age, and sex of sea otters proposed to be relocated.
“(2) The manner in which the sea otters will be captured, translocated, released, monitored, and protected.
“(3) The specification of a zone (hereinafter referred to as the ‘translocation zone’) to which the experimental population will be relocated. The zone must have appropriate characteristics for furthering the conservation of the species.
“(4) The specification of a zone (hereinafter referred to as the ‘management zone’) that—
“(A) surrounds the translocation zone; and
“(B) does not include the existing range of the parent population or adjacent range where expansion is necessary for the recovery of the species.
The purpose of the management zone is to (i) facilitate the management of sea otters and the containment of the experimental population within the translocation zone, and (ii) to prevent, to the maximum extent feasible, conflict with other fishery resources within the management zone by the experimental population. Any sea otter found within the management zone shall be treated as a member of the experimental population. The Service shall use all feasible non-lethal means and measures to capture any sea otter found within the management zone and return it to either the translocation zone or to the range of the parent population.
“(5) Measures, including an adequate funding mechanism, to isolate and contain the experimental population.
“(6) A description of the relationship of the implementation of the plan to the status of the species under the Act and to determinations of the Secretary under section 7 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536].
“(c) Status of Members of the Experimental Population.—(1) Any member of the experimental population shall be treated while within the translocation zone as a threatened species for purposes of the Act, except that—
“(A) section 7 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536] shall only apply to agency actions that—
“(i) are undertaken within the translocation zone,
“(ii) are not defense-related agency actions, and
“(iii) are initiated after the date of the enactment of this section [Nov. 7, 1986]; and
“(B) with respect to defense-related actions within the translocation zone, members of the experimental population shall be treated as members of a species that is proposed to be listed under section 4 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1533].
For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘defense-related agency action’ means an agency action proposed to be carried out directly by a military department.
“(2) For purposes of section 7 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536], any member of the experimental population shall be treated while within the management zone as a member of a species that is proposed to be listed under section 4 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1533]. Section 9 of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1538] applies to members of the experimental population; except that any incidental taking of such a member during the course of an otherwise lawful activity within the management zone, may not be treated as a violation of the Act or the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 [16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.].
“(d) Implementation of Plan.—The Secretary shall implement the plan developed under subsection (b)—
“(1) after the Secretary provides an opinion under section 7(b) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536 (b)] regarding each prospective action for which consultation was initiated by a Federal agency or requested by a prospective permit or license applicant before April 1, 1986; or
“(2) if no consultation under section 7 (a)(2) or (3) regarding any prospective action is initiated or requested by April 1, 1986, at any time after that date.
“(e) Consultation and Effect of Opinion.—A Federal agency shall promptly consult with the Secretary, under section 7(a)(3) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 1536 (a)(3)], at the request of, and in cooperation with, any permit or license applicant regarding any prospective action. The time limitations applicable to consultations under section 7(a)(2) of the Act apply to consultations under the preceding sentence. In applying section 7 (b)(3)(B) with respect to an opinion on a prospective action that is provided after consultation under section 7 (a)(3), that opinion shall be treated as the opinion issued after consultation under section 7 (a)(2) unless the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for comment in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code, that a significant change has been made with respect to the action or that a significant change has occurred regarding the information used during the initial consultation. The interested party may petition the Secretary to make a finding under the preceding sentence. The Secretary may implement any reasonable and prudent alternatives specified in any opinion referred to in this subsection through appropriate agreements with any such Federal agency, prospective permit or license applicant, or other interested party.
“(f) Construction.—For purposes of implementing the plan, no act by the Service, an authorized State agency, or an authorized agent of the Service or such an agency with respect to a sea otter that is necessary to effect the relocation or management of any sea otter under the plan may be treated as a violation of any provision of the Act or the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.).”

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

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16 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


7 CFR - Agriculture

7 CFR Part 650 - COMPLIANCE WITH NEPA

15 CFR - Commerce and Foreign Trade

15 CFR Part 904 - CIVIL PROCEDURES

30 CFR - Mineral Resources

30 CFR Part 773 - REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMITS AND PERMIT PROCESSING

32 CFR - National Defense

32 CFR Part 552 - REGULATIONS AFFECTING MILITARY RESERVATIONS

43 CFR - Public Lands: Interior

43 CFR Part 8340 - OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

49 CFR - Transportation

49 CFR Part 1105 - PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

50 CFR - Wildlife and Fisheries

50 CFR Part 10 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

50 CFR Part 17 - ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

50 CFR Part 22 - EAGLE PERMITS

50 CFR Part 23 - CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES)

50 CFR Part 81 - CONSERVATION OF ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PLANTS—COOPERATION WITH THE STATES

50 CFR Part 222 - GENERAL ENDANGERED AND THREATENED MARINE SPECIES

50 CFR Part 224 - ENDANGERED MARINE AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES

50 CFR Part 229 - AUTHORIZATION FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERIES UNDER THE MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972

50 CFR Part 402 - INTERAGENCY COOPERATION—ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973, AS AMENDED

50 CFR Part 404 - NORTHWESTERN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENT

50 CFR Part 424 - LISTING ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES AND DESIGNATING CRITICAL HABITAT

50 CFR Part 450 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

50 CFR Part 451 - APPLICATION PROCEDURE

50 CFR Part 452 - CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATION BY THE SECRETARY

50 CFR Part 453 - ENDANGERED SPECIES COMMITTEE

 

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