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National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Establishes protection of the environment as a national priority Mandates that environmental impacts be considered.

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Presentation on theme: "National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Establishes protection of the environment as a national priority Mandates that environmental impacts be considered."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

2 Establishes protection of the environment as a national priority Mandates that environmental impacts be considered when undertaking federal actions affecting the environment Four primary purposes: 1. To declare a national environmental policy 2. To promote efforts to protect the environment 3. To improve national understanding of environmental issues 4. To establish the Council on Environmental Quality National Environmental Policy Act

3 Guides project planning by establishing an umbrella process to coordinate compliance with federal, state and local laws, while protecting environmental and cultural resources such as: Wetlands Farmland Migratory Birds Historic preservation Air quality Noise Traffic Cultural resources Community impacts Federal, state, and local laws Endangered species Safety Civil rights Environmental justice And more… National Environmental Policy Act

4 Coast Guard Mission

5 “NEPA is Cheapa!” “NEPA is Cheapa!” Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to protect migratory birds Comply with MBTA, BGEPA, and EO Federal agencies may incur civil liability under the MBTA for ongoing or proposed actions that take birds The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) allows a private party to request that a court enjoin an agency action that does not comply with the MBTA FWS Law Enforcement can use discretion, especially when organizations are willing to work with FWS to avoid or minimize impacts

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8 Project effects should be assessed for all actions that the agency conducts, oversees, and or funds FWS is available to assist with this process Early communication/coordination is encouraged & effective When determining which species are likely to be present, bookmark useful online tools! Identify and prioritize species of concern under EO 13186, being careful not to exclude other species NEPA Considerations for Migratory Birds

9 Identify other projects in the region of influence – Importance of cumulative impacts Determine baseline disturbance conditions including ambient sounds Address displacement as a serious effect NEPA Considerations for Migratory Birds

10 How do I know if “take” will occur? Is your project in a habitat that supports birds at some point during the year? Will your project produce avian stressors? (see your MOU for a list) Can you avoid the production of these stressors? If not, can you avoid the exposure of birds or bird habitat to these stressors? Are any stressors linked to mortality? – If so, and exposure is likely, take will occur.

11 How do I know if my project’s effects on birds are “significant?’ Consult your “USCG Projects likely to have significant effects on birds” list. Consider the magnitude, severity, and duration of your stressor production/persistence/exposure. Ask your friendly and helpful FWS biologist. If not available, step through the following questions: – Is your project in a habitat that supports species of concern, as described in E.O ? – Will your project produce avian stressors? (see your MOU for a list) – Can you avoid the production of these stressors? – If not, can you avoid the exposure of birds or bird habitat to these stressors? – If not, your project’s effects on birds may be “significant.”

12 Avian Stressors Produced? Conservation Measures Available? Possible Cat Ex YesNo Stressors Avoided? Direct Mortality? No Yes EA No - minimized Yes Purposeful or incidental? Eagle or ESA Habitat/nest? NoYes PurposefulIncidentalEagle or ESA?Get Permit Yes EA-> EIS EIS

13 NEPA Considerations for Eagles Determine if important eagle use areas will be impacted: An eagle nest, foraging area, or communal roost site that eagles rely on for breeding, sheltering, or feeding, and the landscape features surrounding such nest, foraging area, or roost site that are essential for the continued viability of the site for breeding, feeding, or sheltering eagles (50 CFR 22.3)

14 Avian Stressors Produced? Conservation Measures Available? Possible Cat Ex YesNo Stressors Avoided? Direct Mortality? No Yes EA No - minimized Yes Purposeful or incidental? Eagle or ESA Habitat/nest? NoYes PurposefulIncidentalEagle or ESA?Get Permit Yes Priority Habitat? No EIS Yes “Large” impacts? No EA-> EIS EIS BCC or raptor? No EIS Yes High rate of mortality likely? No Yes EA No EIS Yes

15 Bird specific Considerations: Identify culturally significant bird species – not just eagles Address vulnerability to climate change – Sensitivity – Exposure – Adaptive capacity Identify vulnerable species and systems Evaluate short-term versus long-term impacts and effects to populations (great guidance can be found in section 7 handbook) IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING IMPACTS RELATIVE TO POPULATIONS: If BCR population is used for effects analysis, then cumulative impacts analysis needs to include reasonably foreseeable actions in that same spatial scale How do I know if my project’s effects on birds are “significant?’

16 Habitat Specific Considerations: Determine the proportion of available habitat impacted Determine the time for habitat to recover to desired future condition Evaluate short-term versus long-term impacts and effects to habitat (great guidance can be found in section 7 handbook) Effects to culturally significant or sacred species may include alteration to landscapes or soundscapes How do I know if my project’s effects on birds are “significant?”

17 Keep in mind (and capitalize on!) seasonal variation (TOY!) Avoid disturbance during breeding season Apply spatial buffers if appropriate Minimize footprint Provide habitat compensation – Restoration for short-term projects – Offsite replacement or enhancement for long-term impacts Tips for Getting to FONSI

18 Avian Stressors Produced? Conservation Measures Available? Possible Cat Ex YesNo Stressors Avoided? Direct Mortality? No Yes EA No - minimized Yes Purposeful or incidental? Eagle or ESA Habitat/nest? NoYes PurposefulIncidentalEagle or ESA?Get Permit Yes Priority Habitat? No EIS Yes “Large” impacts? No EA-> EIS EIS BCC or raptor? No EIS Yes High rate of mortality likely? No Yes EA No EIS Yes

19 Avian Stressors Produced? Conservation Measures Available? Possible Cat Ex YesNo Stressors Avoided? Direct Mortality? No Yes EA No - minimized Yes Purposeful or incidental? Eagle or ESA Habitat/nest? NoYes PurposefulIncidentalEagle or ESA?Get Permit Yes Priority Habitat? No EIS Yes “Large” impacts? No EA-> EIS EIS BCC or raptor? No EIS Yes High rate of mortality likely? No Yes EA No EIS Yes


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