Tuesday’s ruling is the latest legal hurdle for the Trump administration as it has systematically attempted to weaken or disable scores of federal environmental measures. In his decision, Caproni said that the government had gone too far.
Caproni, who was nominated by President Obama to New York’s Southern District in 2012, said: “Nothing in the MBTA’s text suggests that in order to be within its prohibitions, activity must be directed specifically. into the birds. It also does not prohibit intentional killing of migratory birds. And it certainly doesn̵7;t say that only ‘some’ homicides are forbidden. “
According to analysis by the National Audubon Society, the changes made by the Trump administration largely benefit oil companies, which have paid most of the fines for violating the law.
In the administration’s view, even BP, the company responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in the death of an estimated 1 million birds, would not be subject to penalties under the law. A landowner destroys endangered owl nests without checking before building a barn or an oil company that fails to cover the plastic pit so birds can plunge and die as irresponsible as they did. work for decades.
Caproni determined that permitting the US Fish and Wildlife Service to take action only if officials demonstrate their intentions to violate the Federal Administrative Procedures Act and ignore changes. . On defeating the rule change, she warned the Interior Ministry with a passage in “Killing a Mocking Bird”.
Caproni writes: “Not only is it a sin to kill a parody bird, it is also a crime. “It’s the law of the last century. But if the Ministry of the Interior did their way, many moths and other migratory birds that pleased people and support ecosystems across the country would be killed with no legal consequences. “
Eight state attorneys general challenged the government when it weakened the act two years ago. Led by then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the coalition consisted of leading attorneys in Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, California and New Mexico.
The court joined their case with another challenge submitted by the National Audubon Association and many other conservation groups, including the Center for Biodiversity.
“This is a huge victory for birds and it comes at a critical moment – science tells us that we’ve lost 3 billion birds in less than a lifetime and two-thirds of the birds. North America is at risk of climate-induced extinction. Sarah Greenberger, interim conservation director of the National Audubon Society, said in a statement.
Interior Ministry spokesman Conner Swanson defended the rule change. He wrote in an email: “Today’s opinion undermines the conventional interpretation of law and goes against recent, shared political efforts, to eliminate behavior. intentional, ”he wrote in an email.
The Trump administration has suffered many failures in its efforts to implement longstanding environmental safeguards, calling those tough demands damaging industry and development.
In February, a federal judge in Idaho invalidated nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas rentals on federal lands in the West, echoing an earlier decision saying that the Trump administration was “arbitrary and capricious” in a way that limits the public’s input to tenancy agreements.
In the weeks leading up to a change to the Migrant Bird Treaty Act rules in 2018, the administration lost three trials over three days in a row. In 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to delay the new chemical and safety requirements was “arbitrary and erratic”.
A day earlier, a US District Court judge in South Carolina reinstated regulations in 26 states restricting the dredging and filling of streams and waterways on the grounds that EPA has not yet solicited sufficient comments. Of the community. Before that, a judge from the US Montana District Court ordered the State Department to issue a more extensive environmental impact statement on Keystone XL’s proposed route through Nebraska.
The Migrant Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was enacted after some common bird species became extinct. The action of the government has reversed decades of efforts by the Republican and Democratic governments to protect animals as they move around the globe. This law covers various birds such as eagles, red anemones, Canadian geese and vultures.
Oil companies are the biggest beneficiaries of the new interpretation, according to an analysis by the Audubon Association. They are responsible for 90% of the random cases prosecuted under the statute, resulting in a $ 6,500 fine for each offense. Two catastrophic oil spills, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill off Louisiana in 2010 and the sinking of the Exxon Valdez tanker off the coast of Alaska in 1989, account for 97% of the fine, according to the Audubon Association.
Caproni, in protesting the Ministry of the Interior’s rule change, delayed the way Congress would frame the law. “It would be illegal to hunt, catch, catch, kill, attempt to catch, catch or kill… in any way… any time or in any way, any migratory bird, contained in the terms of the convention between the United States and the United Kingdom to protect migratory birds, ”it said.
Caproni made the request of state attorneys and conservationists to ignore the interior ministry’s decision. The Home Office attorneys sought to delay the court remedy for undermining the will of Congress to enact the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to amend it throughout the years. The judge rejected that attempt.
“The Interior gave no indication that ignoring the Opinion would disrupt implementation or the efforts of another agency,” she wrote.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and chief executive officer of Defenders of Wildlife, said: “The court’s decision is a resounding victory for conservationists who have struggled to maintain the historical interpretation of The Migrant Bird Treaty Act to protect migratory birds from the harmful effects of industry ”claims.
Clark called the federal action a false move “that would put the fate of more than 1,000 species of birds in the hands of the industry”.