Procedure for Communication Tower Projects in Oklahoma
To streamline the review process for communications
tower projects, we have developed no effect criteria, avoidance
and minimization measures, and procedures for project review.
The criteria, measures, and procedures take into consideration
available information on migratory birds, federally-listed
threatened and endangered species, and bald eagles within
Oklahoma, in accordance with provisions of the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712, 40 Stat. 755), as amended
(MBTA); Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544,
87 Stat. 884), as amended (ESA); and Bald and Golden Eagle
Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 54 Stat. 250), as amended
(Eagle Act). This process also provides useful information
for your project review under the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, 83 Stat. 852),
Step 1. Federally listed threatened and endangered
species and bald eagles. The following types of proposed
actions will have no effect on federally-listed threatened
and endangered species and are not likely to negatively impact
species that are candidates for federal listing. The following
actions also are unlikely to disturb bald eagles:
- Co-location of new equipment or antennae or any infrastructure
improvements at an existing structure (e.g., tower, water
tank, building, etc.) where all ground disturbance occurs
within cleared or regularly mowed areas.
- Routine maintenance or repair of existing towers or their
- Replacement of an existing communication tower (and/or
equipment) for which a self-certification letter previously
has been mailed to the Service, provided such activities
would not increase the existing tower mass and height, require
the addition of guy wires, or increase the size or location
of the existing pad site or equipment shelter.
- Construction of self-supported (i.e., no guy wires), unlighted
communication towers less than 200 feet in height that:
- are not within the range of the lesser prairie chicken
in Oklahoma (as
determined in IPaC), and,
- are not within the range of the American burying beetle
determined in IPAC) or are within the range, but
the entire action area is considered to be unsuitable
habitat for the beetle. For more information regarding
unsuitable habitat, refer to our American
burying beetle webpage.
- Transfer of ownership of existing towers.
Step 2. Migratory birds.To minimize
adverse impacts to migratory birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (Service) strongly encourages co-locating with other
equipment and/or lowering tower height to the extent practicable,
minimizing lighting, locating the tower in urbanized or developed
areas or other areas that do not provide potential habitat for
migratory birds, and incorporating as many recommendations as
possible from the Service
Guidance on the Siting, Construction, Operation and Decommissioning
of Communication Towers.
Step 3. For projects that meet the criteria
in Step 1 and implement all applicable recommendations
in Step 2, no further coordination with the Service is needed.
Complete the self-certification
letter, retain a copy in your project files, and
email a copy to OKProjectReview@fws.gov.
Please note that any single email, including
attachments, must be smaller than 25 MB. If a single
email would be larger than 25 MB, please spread out multiple
attachments among several emails (use the same subject name
and project reference in all emails related to an individual
project); otherwise mail a hard copy or DVD to our office. All
project reviews will receive a return receipt to inform you
that your project has been successfully submitted.
For all other projects continue to Step 4.
4.If the project does not meet the criteria in Steps
1 and 2, follow the USFWS
Oklahoma Online Project Review Process for other
NOTE: Items that are in blue bolded text
are links to additional information or to additional steps
in the process. We recommend that you read the entire step
prior to making a selection or following the links.