NFIB to SCOTUS: Federal Agencies Must Consider Economic Effects of Costly Regulations

Date: June 07, 2016

Contact: Kelly Klass 
(609) 713-4243 or [email protected]

Leading small business
group asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear Endangered Species Act case with major
implication for property owners

Washington, D.C. (June
7, 2016)

– The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services must consider financial hardships to
businesses when designating lands or waters as “critical habitat,” said the National Federation of Independent
Business
in a brief filed before the Supreme Court.

“When
the U.S Fish & Wildlife Services deems an area ‘critical habitat’ for an
endangered species, it triggers federal restrictions that prohibit businesses
from using or developing their land,” said Karen
Harned, NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director
. “We’re arguing
that regulators must consider how their actions affect private businesses.”

Harned
pointed out that land restrictions often cover many thousands of acres without
any real conservation benefit.

“That
is a prime example of regulation gone wild,” she said.

At
issue in the case of Building Industry
Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce
is whether the
Fish & Wildlife Service is required to conduct an economic analysis before designating
“critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act.  Agencies typically consider the cost to
government but very often gloss over or downplay the actual economic impact and
the financial burden on businesses.

“Agencies
should at least consider whether the theoretical benefit of a regulation would
be outweighed by the potential economic costs,” Harned said.    
 

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