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Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to ensure that the activities authorized within a Department of Army permit comply with provision of the Endangered Species Act, also known as ESA.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must consider all direct and indirect impacts of the proposed work activity on all federally-listed threatened or endangered species or its critical habitat. 

A consultation between the Corps and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries must be conducted for any proposed work activity that includes the following conditions:

  • Discharge of dredge or fill materials into waters of the United States, including wetlands
  • Affects a navigable water of the United States
  • Affects a federally-listed species or its critical habitat (threatened or endangered)

Permittees may NOT begin work until a permit has been issued by the Corps that the requirements of the ESA have been satisfied and the proposed work activity is authorized.  Activities outside the permit area of Corps jurisdiction that may have a federally-listed endangered or threatened species or critical habitat could require permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prevent a violation of the Endangered Species Act, Section 9.

Regional Condition:
Watersheds Requiring Pre-Construction Notification (PCN), Specific to Anadromous Fish

This Regional Condition applies in Idaho to Nationwide Permits  1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35, 36, 39, 40, 43, 46, 48 and 52.      Pre-Construction Notification will be required for all nationwide permits in the geographic areas as shown on the PCN Waters Map.

NoteFor evaluation purposes of a Department of Army application, the scope of analysis under the ESA is the permit area.  This area includes all waters of the United States, including wetlands, affected by proposed activities associated with the project, as well as any additional area of non-waters of the United States in the immediate vicinity of, directly associated with, and/or affect by activities in the waters of the United States, including wetlands, where there is sufficient Federal control and responsibility.

A Corps Permit and a Section 7 Consultation

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This information must be provided at the time the application packet is submitted. Failure to do so may result in delays of the ESA, Section 7 Consultation process. Application packets submitted should include extra copies, to be forwarded to the appropriate agencies along with the Corps’ Request for Consultation.

Any request for consultation under the Endangered Species Act, Section 7 must include the following information:

  • A description of the proposed work activity/action to be considered
  • A description of the specific area that may be affected by the proposed activity/action
  • A description of any listed species or critical habitat that may be affected by the proposed activity/action
  • A description of the manner in which the activity/action may affect any listed species or critical habitat and an analysis of any cumulative impacts
  • Relevant reports, including environmental impact statement, environmental assessment, biological assessment, etc. that has been prepared
  • Any other relevant available information on the activity/action, the listed species, or critical habitat

As outlined in the ESA, no authorization will be granted for an activity/action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence, destroy, or adversely modify a threatened or endangered species or a species proposed for designation or the critical habitat of such species. 

Application packets must include notification to the Corps if any listed species or critical habitat (threatened or endangered) might be affected by, or is in the vicinity of the proposed activity/action. 

Work must not begin until notified by the District Engineer that the requirements of the ESA have been satisfied and that the proposed activity/action is authorized.


All standard Department of Army Individual Permit application packages are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for potential effects to threatened or endangered species. 

Applicants should provide information to the Corps that addresses whether a proposed activity/action may affect federally-listed species, both threatened and endangered and/or any critical habitat.


If the proposed work activity/project may affect, or is in the vicinity of any federally-listed species or critical habitat (threatened or endangered) the application packet must also contain a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN), even if a PCN is not otherwise required

The PCN must include all required information as well as the name(s) of any endangered and/or threatened species that may be affected by the proposed activity/action that is located in the vicinity of the proposed activity area or that utilizes that area as critical habitat. 

Depending upon the results of the formal or informal consultation, the Corps may add specie-specific regional endangered species conditions to the permit.  No activity can be authorized by a general permit if the continued existence of a federally-listed or proposed federally-listed (threatened and endangered) species would be jeopardized or its critical habitat destroyed or adversely modified by the proposed activity/action.  


If the proposed work activity/project may affect, or is in the vicinity of, any federally-listed species or critical habitat (threatened or endangered) the application packet must also contain a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN), even if a PCN is not otherwise required

The PCN must include all required information as well as the name(s) of any endangered and/or threatened species that may be affected by the proposed activity/action that is located in the vicinity of the proposed activity area OR that utilizes that area as critical habitat.  

Depending upon the results of the formal or informal consultation, the Corps may add specie-specific regional endangered species conditions to the general permit.  No activity can be authorized by a general permit if the continued existence of a federally-listed or proposed federally-listed (threatened and endangered) species would be jeopardized, or its critical habitat destroyed or adversely modified, by the proposed activity/action. 


Endangereed Species Act (ESA) Programmatics

The purpose of a programmatic consultation is to streamline the Section 7 consultation process for a category or categories of activities which occur frequently, thereby reducing the number of individual consultations for each of these activities.  This streamlining reduces the Corps’ permit processing time for these activities that require ESA consultation. 

Currently, the Walla Walla District Regulatory Division has the following six programmatic consultations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) available.  Click on the links to see the Biological Opinions for each.

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This programmatic covers docks, piers, and related structures on Lake Pend Oreille.

This programmatic consultation was the result of coordination between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Programmatic Consultation applies to restoration activities at stream crossings on National Forests and BLM Public Lands.

 The following categories of activities are covered by this programmatic consultation:

  • Culvert Removal and Associated Channel Rehabilitation
  • Culvert, Bridge or Ford Replacement with a Bridge
  • Culvert or Ford Replacement with a Culvert or Open-Bottomed Arch
  • Culvert Replacement with Low-Water Trail Ford
  • Programmatic Project Maintenance
  • Road & Trail Relocation and Decommissioning Related to Crossing Replacement
  • Bridge Construction on Migratory Sockeye Salmon Habitat

This programmatic may only be used for projects constructed by or funded by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

       

 

This Programmatic Consultation includes activities funded by BPA under their HIP III program and may only be used for projects funded under HIP. The following are categories of activities covered under HIP III:
     - Fish Passage Restoration
     - River, Stream, Floodplain and Wetland Restoration
     - Invasive and Non-native Plant Control
     - Piling Removal
     - Road and Trail Erosion Control, Maintenance and Decommissioning
     - In-channel Nutrient Enhancement
     - Irrigation and Water Delivery/Management Actions
     - Fisheries, Hydrologic and Geomorphologic Surveys


This programmatic consultation was the result of coordination between the Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, ITD, USFWS, and NMFS for certain maintenance activities. This programmatic consultation will only be used for activities carried out by the Idaho Transportation Department and/or funded by the Federal Highway Administration. In association with this programmatic consultation, the Corps of Engineers has designated ITD as the non-federal representative for ESA for projects covered under this programmatic consultation, in accordance with 50 CFR 402.08.    


 

The NMFS Biological Opinion signed February 9, 2015, covers aquatic habitat restoration activities that are funded, permitted, or implemented by one or more of six federal agencies. A project can be covered under this programmatic consultation if it follows standard design criteria and conservation measures as described in the NMFS Biological Opinion.

 


 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued their biological opinion for SLOPES in May 2013 for eight categories of activities with potential impacts to listed bull trout in northern Idaho and western Montana.