NEPA Conclusion (Excerpt from Ruling)
In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that FWS has failed to show an adequate basis in the record for deciding not to prepare an EIS—much less an EA—prior to increasing the maximum duration for programmatic eagle take permits by sixfold. See Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Ctr., 468 F.3d at 562 (“[N]ot only did [the agency] fail to conduct an EIS . . . , it did not even conduct an EA.”). While promoting renewable energy projects may well be a “worthy goal, it is no substitute for the [agency’s] obligations to comply with NEPA and to conduct a studied review and response to concerns about the environmental implications of major agency action.” Kraayenbrink, 632 F.3d at 492. Accordingly, the Court holds that FWS violated NEPA’s procedural requirements and that the Final 30-Year Rule must therefore be set aside and remanded to FWS for further consideration.