The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that applicants for a Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) permit take no action that might adversely affect certain species. In addition, species that are under stress may become listed species if adverse impacts continue to their population or habitat. To help insure that permitted projects do not contribute to further endangerment of a species, it may be required to modify or condition a permit where a species of concern is present.
If you have a project that is located in an area that may include one or more species that warrant protection, you may need to contract with a consultant to look for the species. Any survey for endangered or threatened species must comply with the Endangered Species Act. Failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act can lead to civil and criminal penalties. If you are required to survey for a species for a Corps permit, you should have the survey protocol approved in writing from both the Corps and USFWS.
Time-of-year restrictions are a common way to protect nesting, feeding, and other activities that happen in specific location during specific times of the years. A condition of an Army Corps permit will include a time of year (TOY) restriction as needed to protect the species from the applicant's authorized activity.
Certain species also have a recovery plan. Where a recovery plan has been developed, the actions identified that will promote the recovery of the species will usually become conditions of any Corps permit issued to an applicant. The applicant need to agree to comply with those conditions in order to proceed with the activity authorized by the Corps permit.
Note: All of the following link is an external link outside of the official DoD domain. The inclusion of this link does not constitute an endorsement of any organization's policies or activities. You may find information on species listed in the state of Virginia, species of concern, consultants that are qualified to perform surveys, time of year restrictions, and more at http://virginiafieldoffice.fws.gov.
Web Review 2010 - September 2, 2010: The USFWS has established this new policy:
Due to increases in workload and refinement of our priorities in Virginia, this office (USFWS) will no longer provide individual responses to requests for environmental reviews. However, we want to ensure that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) trust resources continue to be conserved. When that is not possible, we want to ensure that impacts to these important natural resources are minimized and appropriate permits are applied for and received. We have developed a website, http://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/endspecies/Project_Reviews.html, that provides the steps and information necessary to allow landowners, applicants, consultants, agency personnel, and any other individual or entity requiring Service review / approval of their project to complete a review and come to the appropriate conclusion.
The USFWS website will be frequently updated to provide new species / trust resource information and methods to review projects, so refer to the website for each project review to ensure that current information is utilized.
If you have any questions about project reviews or need assistance, please contact (804) 693-6694, extension 166.