[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 137 (Friday, July 17, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42465-42466]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-17580]



Fish and Wildlife Service


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 424

[Docket Nos. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0016; DOC 150506429-5586-02; 4500030113]
RIN 1018-BA53; 0648-BF06

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the 
Regulations for Petitions

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior; National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of the comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine 
Fisheries Service, announce the extension of the public comment period 
on our May 21, 2015, proposed revisions to the regulations concerning 
petitions under section 4(b)(3) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as 
they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published in the 
Federal Register on May 21, 2015 (80 FR 29286), is extended. We will 
accept comments from all interested parties until September 18, 2015. 
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 Time on that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In 
the Search box, enter the docket number for the proposed rule, which is 
FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0016. You may submit a comment by clicking on ``Comment 
Now!'' Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before 
submitting your comment.
     U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. 
FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0016; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management 
Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC, 
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This

[[Page 42466]]

generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Douglas Krofta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Division of Conservation and Classification, 5275 Leesburg 
Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803, telephone 703/358-2171; facsimile 
703/358-1735; or Angela Somma, National Marine Fisheries Service, 
Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, 
MD 20910, telephone 301/427-8403. If you use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 800/877-8339.


Public Comments

    We will accept written comments and information during this 
extended comment period on our proposed revisions to the regulations 
concerning petitions under section 4(b)(3) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), that was 
published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2015 (80 FR 29286). We 
will consider information we receive from all interested parties on or 
before the close of the comment period (see DATES).
    If you have already submitted comments or information during the 
public comment period that began May 21, 2015, 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 rule.
    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the 
methods described in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire 
comment--including any personal identifying information--will be posted 
on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that 
includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top 
of your document that we withhold this information from public review. 
However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.


    On May 21, 2015, we published a proposed rule regarding changes to 
the regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 
CFR 424.14 concerning petitions, to improve the content and specificity 
of petitions and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the 
petitions process to support species conservation. Our proposed 
revisions to Sec.  424.14 would clarify and enhance the procedures by 
which the Services will evaluate petitions under section 4(b)(3) of the 
Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3). We proposed to revise the regulations 
pertaining to the petition process to provide greater clarity to the 
public on the petition-submission process, which will assist 
petitioners in providing complete petitions. These revisions would also 
maximize the efficiency with which the Services process petitions, 
making the best use of available resources. These changes would improve 
the quality of petitions through expanded content requirements and 
guidelines, and, in doing so, better focus the Services' energies on 
petitions that merit further analysis.
    The comment period on the May 21, 2015, proposed rule was 
originally scheduled to close on July 20, 2015. We have received 
comments requesting an extension to that date, and we now announce that 
we will accept comments on the proposed revisions to the regulations 
concerning petitions at 50 CFR 424.14 as specified in DATES.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 9, 2015.

Michael J. Bean,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    Dated: July 9, 2015.

Samuel D. Rauch,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-17580 Filed 7-16-15; 8:45 am]
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