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032 FW 5, Ecological Services


FWM#:      189 (new)
Date:         April 19, 1995 (as amended 04/17/2008 by Director’s Order 194)
Series:       Delegations
Part 032:   General Program Redelegations
Originating Office: Division of Policy and Directives Management



5.1 General Provisions. Regional Directors may exercise all the authority of the Director for the conduct of Service ecological services programs, except as indicated below.

5.2 Habitat Conservation.

A. Limitations. Regional Directors' authority in 5.1 regarding reports, recommendations, and comments about project impacts on fish and wildlife require Headquarters clearance before release of the following:

(1) Reports/comments that are to be signed above the Service level (i.e., Department of the Interior, including Assistant Secretaries) except environmental reviews controlled by the Departmental Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance;

(2) Reports/comments regarding any project that would significantly affect the operation of an existing, or lead to the establishment of a new National Fish Hatchery or National Wildlife Refuge;

(3) Reports/comments regarding any project that would result in the acquisition of any property to be administered by the Service, except acquisition of Farmers Home Administration inventory property.

(4) Reports/comments regarding a proposed action that would be a significant departure from established Service policy or which would involve controversial projects about which the Director should be consulted;

(5) Comments on documents related to proposed national guidelines and regulations or proposed Federal legislation; and,

(6) Comments on environmental impact statements for which recommendation for referral to the Council on Environmental Quality is anticipated.

B. Redelegation. Subject to the limitations above,

(1) Regional Directors may redelegate their authority for reports, recommendations, and comments to Assistant Regional Directors-Ecological Services with the following exceptions:

(a) Notifications to Corps District Engineers that a discharge, regulated by the Corps of Engineers, will have a substantial and unacceptable impact on aquatic resources of national importance.

(b) Cooperating agency agreements where Service has jurisdiction by law when funding commitments are involved.

(c) Environmental reviews controlled by the Departmental Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, except for notices of intent to prepare environmental impact statements.

(2) Assistant Regional Directors-Ecological Services may redelegate this authority to field supervisors with the following exceptions:

(a) A request for extension of time to comment on a Corps of Engineers public notice when the extension exceeds 30 days beyond the date of publication.

(b) Reports or recommendations on controversial Federal or federally assisted projects that will require Regional Office clearance before release.

(c) Reports or recommendations on major Corps of Engineers permit applications with an associated environmental impact statement that will require Regional Office clearance before release.

5.3 Environmental Contaminants.

A. Limitations. Regional Directors' authority in 5.1 regarding approval of settlements, consent decrees, and covenants not to sue for natural resources damages require Headquarters clearance for the following:

(1) Those involving national policy or those setting new legal precedents.

(2) Those affecting more than one Region.

(3) Those not delegated to the Regional Solicitor by the Solicitor.

B. Redelegation. Subject to the limitations above, Regional Directors may redelegate all of the authority granted in 5.1 except approval of settlements, consent decrees, and covenants not to sue for natural resources damages may not be redelegated below Assistant Regional Directors - Ecological Services.

5.4 Endangered Species.

A. Limitations. Regional Directors' authority in 5.1 does not include the following:

(1) Approving recovery plans for species that occur in more than one Region without concurrence of Regional Directors from the other affected Regions.

(2) Conducting consultations that are determined to be national consultations or involve activities in foreign nations, the high seas, or the global commons.

(3) Conducting reviews under Sec. 7(a)(1), unless specifically authorized by the Director.

(4) Conducting activities that are the functions of the Management and Scientific Authorities.

Director’s Order 194 (04/17/2008) amends section B below.

B. Redelegation. Subject to the limitations above, Regional Directors may redelegate their authority except for the following:

(1) Approval of final recovery plans.

(2) Issuance of biological opinions finding "jeopardy" or "destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat."

(3) Intra-Service consultations may be redelegated no lower than the Assistant Regional Director responsible for the endangered species program.



For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management. 


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