SECTION BY SECTION FOR H.R. XXXX, THE “NONNATIVE WILDLIFE INVASION PREVENTION ACT”
[Editors note - this article has been attributed to the staff of the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, but it’s origin has not been authenticated.]
SEC. 1 – SHORT TITLE
Section 1 cites the short title of the Act as the “Non-Native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act”.
SEC. 2 – PURPOSE
The purpose of this Act is to prevent the introduction and establishment of nonnative wildlife species, which may cause economic or environmental harm or harm to other animal species’ health or human health. It proposes to establish a risk assessment process to evaluate nonnative wildlife species for the potential to cause this aforementioned harm.
SEC. 3 – RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR IMPORTATION OF NON-NATIVE WILDLIFE SPECIES
Section 3(a) gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to issue regulations to establish a risk assessment process for imported nonnative wildlife species.
Section 3(b) provides factors to be considered in developing regulations for a risk assessment process for imported nonnative wildlife species.
Section 3(c) establishes that the Secretary should provide notice to States, Indian tribes, other stakeholders, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, the Invasive Species Council, the Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in creating these regulations.
Section 3(d) clarifies that the Secretary must use sound science in establishing these regulations.
Section 3(e) establishes deadlines. The Secretary must propose regulations to establish a screening process and propose a preliminary list of approved species no later than 2 years after enactment; publish final regulations and a final preliminary list of approved species, 30 days before screening begins; and starts screening no later than 37 months after enactment.
Section 3(f) establishes that this Act does not interfere with people who already possess individual animals that were legally owned, but later prohibited by this Act.
SEC. 4 – LIST OF APPROVED SPECIES
Section 4(a) requires the Secretary to publish a list of nonnative wildlife species approved for importation. However, it excludes unapproved species listed in Section 5, and other species prohibited from importation by other federal agencies and laws. It also allows the Secretary to revise the list based on available scientific and commercial information.
Section 4(b) requires the Secretary to establish a preliminary list of approved nonnative wildlife species for import. This preliminary list would be developed using available scientific and commercial data. Sixty days to a year after enactment, the Secretary will accept proposals from importers to place animal species on a preliminary approved list. This subsection also allows for at least a 60 day comment period on this preliminary approved list before the final preliminary list is published.
Section 4(c) requires the Secretary to receive proposals for inclusion on the approved list, after the final preliminary list is published. The Secretary shall than make one of three determinations: the species is approved for importation and put on the approved list, the species is not approved for importation and put on the unapproved list, or there is insufficient information to make a determination. The Secretary’s determination is to be made public.
SEC. 5 – LIST OF UNAPPROVED SPECIES
Section 5(a) requires the Secretary to publish a list of nonnative wildlife species not approved for importation. This list automatically includes the list of injurious species under the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981.
Section 5(b) allows a person to propose to the Secretary to add an animal species to the unapproved list. The Secretary shall than make one of three determinations: the species is approved for importation and put on the approved list, the species is not approved for importation and put on the unapproved list, or there is insufficient information to make a determination. The Secretary’s determination is to be made public.
Section 5(c) allows the Secretary to revise the list based on scientific and commercial information.
Section 5(d) allows the Secretary to place a harmful nonnative wildlife species on the unapproved list in the event of an emergency. A final determination of whether to maintain this species on the unapproved list must be made within 180 days of the emergency listing.
SEC. 6 - PROHIBITIONS AND PENALTIES
Section 6(a) prohibits the import or export into the U.S. and transport between States of nonnative wildlife species not included on the approved list. It also prohibits the sale, purchase, bartering of, release, or breeding of any non-native wildlife species that is not included on the approved list.
Section 6(b) states any violations of this Act are subject to the penalties and enforcement of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981.
Section 6(c) states that law enforcement personnel that are engaged in enforcement duties do not fall within this section.
Section 6(d) states that these prohibitions and penalties would start no later than 37 months after enactment of this Act.
SEC. 7 – PERMITS
Section 7(a) allows the Secretary to issue permits for importation of unapproved species for educational, scientific research, or accredited zoological or aquarium display purposes.
Section 7(b) allows the Secretary to place terms and conditions on such permits to minimize the risk of these nonnative wildlife species.
SEC. 8 – FEES
Section 8(a) allows the Secretary to collect a fee for proposals to include nonnative wildlife species on the list of approved or unapproved species, and for permits issued in section 7.
Section 8(b) establishes a Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Fund where such fees will be collected.
SEC. 9 – TREATMENT OF NON-NATIVE WILDLIFE SPECIES AS NONMAILABLE MATTER
Section 9 treats all approved non-native wildlife species as nonmailable matter under section 3015 of title 39, USC, which established a program to protect Hawaii from the introduction of prohibited plants, plant pests, and injurious animals that may be contained in mail received in Hawaii
SEC. 10 – RELATIONSHIP TO STATE LAW
Section 10(a) states that any state or territory with standards addressing non-native wildlife species that are stricter than the standards in the bill would not be preempted by this legislation.
Section 10(b) states that the Secretary would be given discretion to waive penalties for state amnesty events encouraging voluntary surrender of non-native wildlife species.
SEC. 11 – REQUIREMENT TO ISSUE REGULATIONS
Section 11 allows the Secretary to issue regulations to carry out this Act.
SEC. 12 – RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER FEDERAL LAWS
Section 12 states that this Act has no impact on the Public Health Service Act, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or the federal Plant Pest Act.
SEC. 13 – REDESIGNATION OF INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL AS NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL
Section 13 redesignates the “Invasive Species Council” in Executive Order 13112, as the “National Invasive Species Council”. SEC. 14 DEFINITIONS
Section 14 defines the following terms used in the Act: “Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force”, “Import”, “National Invasive Species Council”, “Native Species”, “NonNative Wildlife”, “Person”, “Secretary”, “State”, and “United States”.