S.19 - A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to establish a procedure for approval of certain settlements.113th Congress (2013-2014)
Summary: S.19 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Introduced in Senate (02/27/2013)
Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Secretary of the Interior, within 30 days after being served with a complaint in an action alleging a failure to perform an act or duty related to an endangered species or threatened species determination, to publish the complaint. Prohibits the failure of the Secretary to meet such deadline from being the basis for such an action. Sets forth requirements concerning the intervention in such actions by affected parties and referral to a mediation program.
Authorizes the court, in issuing any final order in such an action, to award litigation costs to any party. Prohibits the court from: (1) awarding litigation costs in any proposed covered settlement, (2) granting a motion that is based on a proposed covered settlement or other consent decree that includes payment for litigation costs, (3) approving a proposed covered settlement unless each state and county in which the Secretary believes a species occurs approves it, or (4) granting a motion that is based on a proposed covered settlement unless such settlement is approved by each such state and county. Requires the courts to ensure that such a settlement is approved by each such state and county.
Requires the Secretary to provide notice of a proposed covered settlement to each such state and county. Authorizes a court to approve such a settlement or grant such a motion if, within 45 days of notification: (1) a state or county fails to respond, and (2) each state or county that responds approves the covered settlement, or (3) all of the states and counties fail to respond.