Merlin has been asked to comment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal to prepare a draft of a 50-year environmental impact statement that will affect bats and humans.
Proposal Summary–The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announces their intent to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed issuance of an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the draft Oil & Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan (O&G HCP). The O&G HCP is being developed to streamline environmental permitting and compliance with the ESA for nine companies in conjunction with their respective midstream and upstream oil and gas exploration, production, and maintenance activities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia over a 50-year period. The companies have indicated that they intend to request ITP coverage for five bat species: The endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), the threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), and the tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus).
For more information and details about the intended proposal, click HERE.
Merlin has provided his statement below after discussing the proposal with a U.S. FWS representative.
We invite you to leave your comments as well via this link. The deadline for comments is December 27th.