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Migratory Bird Rule Expected to Proceed Despite Court Defeat

Aug. 12, 2020, 5:58 PM

The Interior Department is likely to proceed with its rulemaking reinterpreting the Migratory Bird Treaty Act despite a defeat this week in federal court, legal practitioners and energy industry attorneys say.

Interior in June drafted a rule that would codify Interior Solicitor Daniel Jorjani’s interpretation of the MBTA as saying that companies can’t be fined for accidental killings of migratory birds such as geese, ducks, and mockingbirds. The law prohibits the killing, capturing, selling, trading, and transport of protected migratory bird species without prior Interior authorization.

Jorjani issued the interpretation in 2017, saying that only those who intend to kill ...

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