Developing programmatic consultations and improved streamlined processes.
In the Greater Atlantic Region, we work with federal agencies to develop programmatic EFH consultations to streamline our consultation processes while maintaining and improving the protection of fish habitat. A Programmatic EFH consultation is a method to implement the consultation requirements efficiently and effectively by incorporating many individual actions that may adversely affect EFH into one consultation. According to the EFH regulations at 50 CFR 600.920 (j)(1), programmatic consultation may be appropriate if sufficient information is available to develop EFH conservation recommendations that will address all reasonable foreseeable adverse impacts on EFH of an entire program, parts of a program, or a number of similar individual actions occurring within a given geographic area.
Our existing programmatic consultations are listed below. Please contact us with any questions about these consultations or to explore programmatic consultation or other streamlining opportunities for your programs.
Federal Highway Administration/State Departments of Transportation
For transportation projects, we developed several documents with the Federal Highway Administration to streamline EFH consultations. The Consultation Process Guide and Best Management Practices Manual are applicable for all types of Federal Highway Administration transportation projects occurring in the Greater Atlantic Region. The Federal Highway Administration Programmatic EFH Consultation applies to a subset of routine transportation projects. Projects that do not use the programmatic EFH consultation undergo individual EFH consultation through our existing consultation procedures.
State Departments of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration staff may submit a project for review under the Federal Highway Administration programmatic EFH consultation by sending the completed programmatic EFH consultation Verification Form as a fillable PDF to NMFS.GAR.EFH.Consultation@noaa.gov, together with any project plans, maps, supporting analysis, etc. The following resources are provided to assist with the EFH consultation.
Consultation Process Guide, 2018 (PDF, 45 pages) Download File
Best Management Practices Manual, 2017 (PDF, 68 pages) Download File
EFH Memo, 2018 (PDF, 2 pages) Download File
Programmatic EFH Consultation, 2018 (PDF, 45 pages) Download File
Fillable Verification Form-Appendix B, 2018 (PDF, 15 pages) Please Download File, complete, and submit electronically.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
We have developed a number of programmatic consultations with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the number of projects that we review on an individual basis by programmatically issuing conservation recommendations for those actions that may adversely affect EFH. For the New England District, we developed a programmatic consultation for certain Federal navigation channel projects that are frequently dredged, and a programmatic consultation for certain regulatory actions that are permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Together, these programmatic consultations minimize the need for individual consultations between our agencies, and provide greater certainty to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the public.
The New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk U.S. Army Corps Districts use Nationwide Permits, Regional General Permits and Statewide Programmatic General Permits to authorize a variety of activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. These permits are generally reevaluated and reissued every five years. During reissuance, we work closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the effects of the activities authorized by these permit programs on our resources and to develop regional and general conditions to minimize adverse effects. As a result, actions that comply with all the conditions of these permit programs do not require a separate EFH consultation with us except in limited situations where consultation is one of the regional conditions of the permit.
Additional information on these permit programs and the regional and general conditions can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's websites.
- New England District
- Buffalo District
- New York District
- Philadelphia District
- Baltimore District
- Norfolk District
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS)
We developed a programmatic EFH consultation with the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service for certain conservation projects on agricultural lands in Maine. These projects include removing vegetation or other obstructions from natural or improved channels and streams, installing irrigation systems, or creating various types of buffers to filter out materials that may adversely affect an adjacent body of water. In order to conserve EFH for Atlantic salmon in Maine as well as other diadromous prey species, we developed conservation recommendations for 33 conservation practices, that when implemented, will ensure that all adverse effects of these actions on EFH and associated species are no more than minimal and temporary in nature.
NOAA Restoration Center
The Habitat Conservation Division and the NOAA Restoration Center have updated our 2001 programmatic EFH consultation for restoration activities occurring throughout the Greater Atlantic Region under the Community-Based Restoration Program (CRP), the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP), and the Habitat Blueprint. The 2019 Programmatic Consultation streamlines and enhances our coordination with the NOAA Restoration Center, identifies a number of best management practices and mitigation measures, and outlines the types of actions requiring individual consultation.
Our Protected Resources Division also developed programmatic Section 7 consultations for threatened and endangered species under NOAA Fisheries' jurisdiction for similar actions. Find out more about Endangered Species Act Section 7 programmatic consultations.