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Trump’s policy of weakening wildlife protection is being overturned

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Biden administration on Monday reversed a policy imposed by former President Donald Trump that has drastically weakened the government’s ability to enforce a centuries-old law that protects many bird species in the United States.

Trump stopped prosecuting companies responsible for bird death that could have been prevented.

This step suspended the implementation of the law on the “Migratory Birds Treaty”, which has been in force for decades. The result was a $ 100 million settlement solution by BP after the Gulf of Mexico spilled oil on about 100,000 birds in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

In August, a federal judge in New York violated the Trump administration’s legal rationale for changing the way the bird contract was implemented.

But the administration did not abandon its policy, rejecting fears that many birds would still die and remain loyal, that the law was improperly used to punish accidental bird deaths.

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Cherry said Trump’s policies “thwarted decades of bipartisan” international consensus “that allowed industry to kill birds with impunity.

Cherry said in a statement that the agency plans to come up with new standards “that can protect migratory birds and ensure certainty for the industry.”

Details of the new standards were not immediately released, but advocacy groups on behalf of tens of millions of birdwatchers in the United States said Monday that they want a tighter regulatory system for the hundreds of millions of birds that die each year in collisions. with wind turbines, after landing in oil wells և for other industrial reasons.

Although industries have taken steps to prevent bird deaths, such as laying nets on oil wells, marking transmission equipment to prevent collisions, some companies do not adequately address the issue; there is no common approach.

“There was really a lot of collaboration, a lot of agreement on what is best management practice for most large industries,” said Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president at the Audubon Society for the Advocacy of Birds. “There were a lot of common ground, that’s why the steps of the last administration were so unnecessary.”

Industrial groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, have supported Trump’s policies, but since Biden took office, they have expressed a willingness to work with Democrats. The oil trading group said on Monday it would work to “support policies that support the environment while ensuring regulatory certainty.”

The policy of migratory birds was among dozens of Trump-era environmental actions that Biden ordered a review on his first day in office. Former federal officials, environmental groups և Congressional Democrats have argued that many of Trump’s rules should benefit the private sector through conservation.

The agreement covers more than 1000 species of birds in North America. From fast-flying meadows to small singing birds, more than 20 owl species. Non-native species և Some game birds, such as wild turkeys, are not listed.

In addition to the BP case, hundreds of enforcement cases involving utilities, oil companies, and wind energy developers resulted in criminal fines and civil penalties totaling $ 5.8 million between 2010 and 2018.

U.S. Fish և Wildlife Service officials say relatively few cases end in prosecution as most companies are prepared to take steps to eliminate the dangers to their birds.

Industry այլ Other human activities: oil rigs և wind turbines, ending car crashes ախ collisions with glass buildings, killing 460 million to 1.4 billion birds a year, according to 7.2 billion birds in North America, according to US Fish Ձ Wildlife Service և Researchers say that cats kill the most birds in the United States – more than 2 billion a year.

The Democratic governor of Virginia has blamed the Trump administration’s decision to end the law on migratory birds to destroy 25,000 coastal bird nests in 2019, paving the way for a tunnel.

1918 The migratory bird treaty was signed after a large number of US bird populations were killed by poaching, mostly for the feathers of female hats.

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Flasher reported from Travers, Michigan.

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Follow Brown on Twitter: @MatthewBrownAP և @JohnFlesher

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