Definition of Destruction or Adverse Modification
The final definition for adverse modification retains the current focus of the Services' review of federal actions on how those actions affect the "physical or biological features essential to the conservation of a listed species," and the ability of that habitat to support the species throughout its life cycle, and to meet the species' recovery needs. Incorporating this approach into a revised regulation will improve the predictability and transparency of these determinations for federal agencies and the public.
The previous regulatory definition was invalidated by the courts in 2004. The revised definition, which is consistent with the ESA, its legislative history and circuit court opinions, codifies the approach the Services have employed since 2004.
The final rule published in the Federal Register on February 11, 2016, and becomes effective 30 days after publication on March 14, 2016.
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