Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) applauded the passage today of H.R. 4315, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act, which improves transparency and enhances species recovery, and reforms the listing decision process outlined in the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Congresswoman is a co-sponsor of this legislation.
"We are blessed to live in a corner of the country abundant in wildlife and natural beauty. But for too long, our community has encountered excessive mandates and social costs due to the outdated ESA. By making ESA data public to Eastern Washington men and women, we can keep local citizens better informed while caring for our wildlife. And by requiring federal agencies to provide Washington state and our local government with information before listings are made, we are increasing transparency and keeping more individuals involved -- because no one understands what is going on at home better than the people who live there."
H.R. 4315 keeps states, tribes and local governments involved by requiring the consideration of data submitted by these entities as a part of the ESA process. Additionally, it requires the tracking and publication of ESA-related litigation expenses, including taxpayer-funded attorney fees.
This legislation caps attorney fees for litigation filed under the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act at $125 per hour. This is the same cap that applies to claims under the Equal Access to Justice Act, making it consistent with current law.