ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
Automated Project Reviews
Most proposed projects can be screened for potential impacts to species of special concern using the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) Project Planning Environmental Review tool on the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program’s website. This online review typically takes about 10 minutes.
This online tool allows project proponents and consultants to quickly screen projects for potential impacts to species of special concern, including federally listed and proposed species. We recommend that projects be screened early in the planning process so that any potential impacts on species of special concern can be resolved in a timely manner. The automated review tool provides a response from all four of the federal and state agencies that have jurisdiction over federal and state-listed species, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
If a potential conflict with a federally-listed species is identified, the receipt generated by the website will direct the inquirer to 1) contact the Fish and Wildlife Service, 2) provide additional information (e.g., survey results for a particular species), or 3) implement an avoidance measure(s) to avoid potential adverse effects on federally-listed species. Carefully read and follow the instructions on the receipt.
Species lists are available by county and watershed on the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program’s website. Even if an online environmental review does not reveal any potential conflicts, a field survey may reveal previously undocumented populations of one or more species of concern within a project area. If surveys reveal that a federally listed, proposed, or candidate species exists in your project area, contact the Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss measures to avoid or minimize potential impacts to the species prior to initiating your project.
When information is sent to the Service’s Pennsylvania Field Office for a review of a project’s potential effects on federally listed species, a desk-top review is carried out by an endangered species biologist. This review will typically take at least 30 days. Review time is affected by staffing levels and workload.
For some industries and project types (see menu to the right), specific guidance has been developed to avoid or minimize potential adverse effects on federally-listed species.