Like many other federal environmental laws and regulations, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was life sustaining when Donald Trump stepped down. Now, less than seven weeks after the Biden government began, the country’s main law protecting birds is sort of recovering.
In early February, the Biden team paused over a Trump last-minute rule on the law and said today it will repeal Trump’s interior department change made to the law in late 2017.
“Today the Home Office repealed the M Opinion on the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, repealed decades of bipartisan and international consensus and allowed the industry to kill birds with impunity,” a Home Office spokesman said. “The reasons and the basis for this M statement were decidedly rejected before a federal court. In the coming days, Interior will issue a proposed rule to revoke the related rule that comes into effect today. The department will also reconsider its interpretation of the MBTA in order to develop sensible standards that can protect migratory birds and keep the industry safe. ”
The so-called M-opinion was a Trump rule that said the law did not apply to accidental or accidental harm to birds, even though something different was said 100 years ago.
The public is also invited to comment on repealing a similar rule that is undermining the MBTA and promoting practices that can reduce bird mortality.
Conservation groups that sued and won the Trump administration over the changes are happy with the Biden plan.
“Millions of birds were at risk of unnecessary death from a Trump era, but the Biden administration made a better choice,” said Renee Stone, senior vice president of conservation programs and general counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. “We look forward to working with the Biden government to protect the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the American Migratory Birds.”
“Migratory birds will benefit greatly from today’s decision,” added Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy’s vice president of policy. “Telecommunications companies and the power transmission and production industries have made great strides in finding ways to reduce bird mortality. We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments in order to translate these established best management practices into standard practices. “
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