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Proposed Rule

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the Regulations for Impact Analyses of Critical Habitat

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Proposed rule, reopening of comment period.


We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our August 24, 2012, proposed rule to revise our regulations pertaining to impact analyses conducted for designations of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties additional time to review and comment on our proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.


We will accept comments from all interested parties until February 6, 2013. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES below), the deadline for submitting an electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on this date.


You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Search for FWS-R9-ES-2011-0073, which is the docket number for this rulemaking.
  • U.S. Mail or Hand Delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9-ES-2011-0073; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, PDM-2042; Arlington, VA 22203.

We will post all comments on This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Request for Information section below for more information).


Douglas Krofta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Conservation and Classification, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 420, Arlington, VA, 22203, telephone 703/358-2171; facsimile 703/358-1735; or Marta Nammack, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, telephone 301/713-1401; facsimile 301/713-0376. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.



On August 24, 2012, we published a proposed rule to amend our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.19 to clarify the instructions for making information available to the public, considering the impacts of critical habitat designations, and considering exclusions from critical habitat. These changes are being proposed as directed by the President's February 28, 2012, memorandum, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to revise the regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act to provide that a draft economic analysis be completed and made available for public comment at the time of publication of a proposed rule to designate critical habitat.

Request for Information

We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed rule to revise our regulations pertaining to impact analyses conducted for designations of critical habitat that was published in the Federal Register on August 24, 2012 (77 FR 51503). We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final regulation resulting from this proposal be as accurate as possible and based on the best available scientific and commercial data.

If you previously submitted comments or information on the proposed rule, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination. Any final regulation based on this proposal will consider information and recommendations timely submitted from all interested parties. We solicit comments, information, and recommendations from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry groups, environmental interest groups, and any other interested parties on this proposed regulation. All comments and materials received by the date listed in DATES above will be considered prior to the approval of a final document.

You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on

Information and supporting documentation that we receive in response to this proposed rule will be available for you to review at, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Conservation and Classification (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Dated: November 1, 2012.

Rachel Jacobson,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Dated: October 24, 2012.

Paul Doremus,

Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-27248 Filed 11-7-12; 8:45 am]

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