Pursuant to the requirements found in the Clean Water Act (CWA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and other federal laws, project proposals with the potential to impact trust resources must be reviewed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Many of the projects received and reviewed by the Service’s South Carolina Field Office (SCFO) are considered routine and represent an insignificant (or possibly beneficial) impact to resources entrusted to the Service for conservation. Examples include minor construction, renovation or maintenance of property or equipment, change of use, funding or other activities that may have no discernable immediate or long term affect upon protected species. Such proposals do not require consultation with the Service as they do not result in take of an endangered species or adversely modify critical habitat as defined by the ESA. Further, they are usually considered as a NEPA Categorical Exclusion and may be approved through a CWA nationwide permit. Even though these activities may not affect protected resources documentation to that effect is frequently requested from the SCFO.
To streamline these requests the SCFO has developed blanket authorizations for activities that routinely have minimal or no effect upon trust resources. The erection of cell towers and certain projects undertaken by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program are the most common project requests received. Therefore, the SCFO provides the following guidelines for use by developers, consultants, landowners and government agencies. If the proposed project meets the specifications or suggestions within the documents, you may download the document and use it to satisfy appropriate requirements of the ESA.Disclaimer: Please note that these guidance documents do not represent formal biological opinions, they do not provide incidental take authorization nor allow for adverse modification of critical habitat.
General Guidance Documents
- Communication Tower Project Clearance Letter | No Effect
- HUD and USDA Rural Development Projects Clearance Letter | No Effect
Endangered, Threatened, and At-Risk Species | Listing Information
- Survey Windows | Animals
- Survey Windows | Plants
- Red-cockaded Woodpecker Recovery Plan
- Bald Eagle Management Guidelines and Conservation Measures
- Migratory Bird Program
- Communication Towers
- IPaC - Information, Planning, and Conservation System
- Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA)