GPA Midstream has filed comments responding to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's effort to place the Tricolored bat on the endangered species list because of a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. The reclassification would likely affect permitting for midstream projects in much of the U.S.
White-nose syndrome attacks bats' wings, muzzles and ears when they hibernate. It causes them to emerge early from hibernation and to sometimes fly outside. Affected bats may burn up winter fat stores and eventually starve.
This attempt follows a previous FWS effort earlier this year to reclassify the Northern Long-Eared bat as endangered due to white-nose syndrome.
In both cases, GPA Midstream is urging FWS to reconsider its proposed rule because white-nose syndrome is unrelated to human activity. Classifying the animals as "endangered" rather than "threatened" would impose significant permitting cost increases and delays for critical infrastructure that has no bearing on the habitat or survival of the species. The endangered classification would have impacts in 39 states, Washington, D.C., and four Canadian provinces.
GPA Midstream members are already engaged in supporting bat populations suffering from the fungal disease by increasing foraging habitat through development of re-vegetated projects.