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Gulf Oil Spill May Bring Changes in Endangered Species Act

Thinking Forward
Categorized Under: Environment



The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DO) to review the Mineral Management Service's (MMS) compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As noted, the CEQ has released a report containing the findings of the review and recommendations for reforming the MMS NEPA process. However, of the many regulatory issues that may have contributed to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has received little attention.

A number of endangered species were affected by the disaster. This article gives an overview of the ESA process as it relates to MMS permitting and explores the Act’s possible shortcomings in preventing risks to endangered species posed by potential oil spills.

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Authored By

  • Jonathan Riker

    ManagerICF International

    Jonathan Riker is a licensed attorney and professional urban planner with seven years’ experience in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and federal, state, and local land use and land development regulation. He provides oversight and in-house guidance on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and CEQA documents.

    He is the first attorney in Los Angeles to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional status conferred by the U.S. Green Building Council. At the Los Angeles City Planning Department, he coordinated environmental review for major development projects. He also worked for an environmental consulting firm, preparing CEQA and NEPA documentation for large-scale public works projects.

Insight Details

Published: Oct 6, 2010
Source: ICF International

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