Instructions for Existing Applicants Who Submitted Eagle Incidental Take or Nest Take Permit Requests PRIOR to Publication of Eagle Rule on February 12, 2024

The Service revised the regulations for the issuance of permits for eagle incidental take and eagle nest take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The revised regulations include a new system of general permits in addition to the specific-permit situations. The final rule published on February 12, 2024, and will go into effect on April 12, 2024.  

If you are an existing applicant who submitted a permit application prior to publication of the final rule, you have 6 months to elect which regulations to have your application reviewed and administered under. You may elect to:

  1. Continue processing and administration of your application under the 2016 regulations;
  2. If eligible, apply for a general permit under the 2024 regulations; or
  3. Apply for a specific permit under the 2024 regulations.

We request that you notify your regional office in writing by submitting a letter, on letterhead, with original signature from the Principal Officer, stating your selection by August 12, 2024. We will pause processing of your application until we hear from you; therefore, we encourage you to respond as soon as you are able so we may continue to process your application. If you are requesting to change to the 2024 eagle permit regulations, please include if you will be applying for a general or specific permit and, if a specific permit, the requested duration (up to 30 years). If you do not respond in that timeframe, the Service will send you a notification. In the event we do not hear from you, the Service will consider your application to be incomplete, and follow procedures for incomplete applications as described in 50 CFR 13.11(e).  

To help you with your decision, please review the Federal Register notice (Vol 89, No. 29, February 12, 2024/Pages 9920-9965). The Service also has resources available at: or you may contact your regional permit office. Some highlights to note:

  • Applications and permits must comply with all the provisions of the selected regulations, either the prior regulations as amended in 2016 or the current regulations as amended in 2024.
  • 2016 Regulations: Applicants who select the 2016 regulations will be required to comply with 2016 regulation and permit conditions, for requested permit durations of five years or longer this includes third-party monitoring and 5-year check-in requirements.
  • 2024 Regulations – General Permits: If eligible, you may elect to register for a general permit using ePermits. General permit eligibility for eagle incidental take at wind facilities is based on eagle relative abundance and proximity to eagle nests. Please visit the ArcGIS Online site for a high-resolution view of the geographic areas and information on eagle abundance that is used to determine eligibility.  
  • 2024 Regulations – Specific Permits: You may elect to apply for a specific permit, based on your eligibility, preferred level of customization and processing time.  
  • Fees: Please note that application fees paid prior to the publication date of the final rule may be used for application and administration fees required under the new regulation; however, the Service will not refund any application fees paid prior to the publication date (50 CFR 13.11(d)(1)).
  • Existing Permit Holders: Projects permitted under the 2016 regulations may continue under existing permit conditions until the permit expires. Permittees that want to modify existing permit conditions to comply with the new regulations may contact their permitting office at any time to determine whether a substantive amendment request or a new application is most appropriate.

If you have any questions or would like any assistance in determining which regulation may best fit your situation, please contact your Migratory Bird Permit Office in your region.  

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