Changes to regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act of 1973 will be challenged in court by one of the world’s most well-known outdoor equipment companies.
Patagonia Works announced on Oct. 31 that it would sue the Trump regime in sixty days on grounds that the new rules contravene the ESA itself.
“Rather than heed the alarm sounded by scientists around the world . . . the Trump Administration has promulgated amendments to regulations implementing the ESA that not only violate the plain language of the statute, but will make it more difficult to protect plant and animal species and their habitats,” the letter – called a Notice of Intent to Sue – declared.
The regulations at issue were finalized on Aug. 12, 2019.
According to Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental advocacy organization that focuses on biodiversity conservation policy, the new regulations will:
- allow economic impacts of listing decisions to be considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
- allow the killing of threatened species; encourage agencies to ignore long-term threats to the survival of species (including climate change),
- create an obstacle to the designation of critical habitat for listed species; and
- reduce the number of federal actions that require consultation with USFWS or NOAA.
Defenders of Wildlife, along with the environmental advocacy organizations Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, WildEarth Guardians, and the animal welfare organization Humane Society of the United States, filed suit to challenge the new ESA regulations on Aug. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In addition, 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the city of New York challenged the new regulations in the same court on Sept. 25, 2019.
A July 2018 poll conducted by Ohio State University showed that about 80 percent of Americans support the goals of the ESA.