Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Northeast Region

Step 1 - Project Review

Northern Long-eared Bats and Your Project: The final 4(d) rule for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) was published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2016. The final 4(d) rule will go into effect on February 16, 2016, 30 days after being published in the Federal Register.

Under the final 4(d) rule, incidental take is prohibited if it occurs within a hibernation site for the northern long-eared bat. It is also prohibited if it results from tree removal activities within a quarter-mile of a hibernaculum or from activities that cut down or destroy known occupied maternity roost trees, or any other trees within 150 feet of that maternity roost tree, during the pup-rearing season (June 1 through July 31). Occupied roost trees may be removed when necessary to address a direct threat to human life and property. In other cases, a permit for incidental take may be needed.

In addition, under the final rule, intentionally harming, harassing, or killing the northern long-eared bat is prohibited throughout the species’ range, except for removal of northern long-eared bats from human structures, and when necessary to protect human health and safety.

All northern long-eared bat projects in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC that have not received a response from the Chesapeake Bay Field Office should resubmit the project through IPaC by returning to the IPaC home page and clicking on “Need an updated species list?” on or after February 16, 2016. We ask that you please resubmit your project because the final 4(d) rule minimizes regulatory requirements for project proponents. As a result of the final 4(d) rule, the Section 7 range for the northern long-eared bat in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC. will be updated on February 16, 2016.

In addition, all new projects must go through the IPaC system at http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/ to determine if the northern long-eared bat or any other endangered and/or threatened species may occur in the project area.

Is there more site specific information about northern long-eared bat presence in your project area? If surveys are conducted to determine the presence or absence of this species in the specific woodlands of the project area, that information can be helpful in assessing the impacts of the project to this species. Go here for summer survey guidance. Although developed for the Indiana bat, it can be used for the northern long-eared bat.

Note: The only counties with documented hibernacula are Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties in Maryland and New Castle County in Delaware. The only counties with documented roosts are Garrett County in Maryland and New Castle County in Delaware. To date no roost sites are known in Washington, DC.

For more information on the final 4(d) rule for the northern long-eared bat, go to http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/index.html. Below you can also click on our Frequently Asked Questions Document and our key for federal actions and non-federal activities for more information.

Northern Long-Eared Bat - Final 4(d) Rule Questions and Answers (PDF)
Key to the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule for Federal Actions that May Affect Northern Long-Eared Bats (PDF)
Key to the Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule for Non-Federal Activities (PDF)

Note: With new information, criteria on which projects will be reviewed may change. Any updates will be posted to this page.

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee​: The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) was listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, on March 21, 2017. There are no extant occurrences (2007-2016) of the rusty patched bumble bee in Delaware, Maryland or Washington, DC. As a result, the Chesapeake Bay Field Office​ (CBFO)​ will not be conducting Section 7 consultations for the rusty patched bumble bee. In addition, individuals conducting surveys for bees in these states do not need a research permit to conduct surveys. The CBFO will update our website if new occurrences are discovered in the future.

Telecommunications Towers: Project review for certain types of maintenance or co-location on existing communication towers is not required. Please print the Online Certification Letter for Telecommunication Tower Projects as documentation of "no effect" for a project meeting the following criteria:

  • re-licensing of existing telecommunication facilities;
  • audits of existing facilities associated with acquisition;
  • routine maintenance of existing tower sites
  • co-location of new antenna facilities on/in existing structures;
  • repair or replacement of existing towers and/or equipment, provided such activities do not increase the existing tower mass and height, or require the additional of guy wires

Routine Highway Maintenance Projects: Project review for certain types of activities associated with routine highway maintenance and upgrade activities is not required. Please print the Online Certification Letter for Routine Highway Maintenance Projects as documentation of "no effect" for a project meeting the following criteria:

  • resurfacing /repainting
  • intersection improvements
  • traffic signal construction
  • guard rail maintenance and installation
  • bridge remedial (excluding new construction, bridge widening and extension)
  • lighting improvement


Decision tree for project review process Is your project an exilsting telecommunication tower? Yes,Link to Telecommunication tower certification letter. Is your project an existing telecommunication tower? Yes= Link to ONline Tower Certification letter Is your project routine highway maintenance? Yes, link to highway maintenance certification letter. Is your project routine highway maintenance? Yes, link to highway maintenance certification letter. Proceed to step two. Link to Step 2 of the project review process link to the telecommunication letter. Print it outLink to the online Telecommunication letter.

For all other types of projects, continue to Step 2.

Image map of Project review steps Link to the beginning of the Online Project review process Link to step 1 of the project review process Link to Step 2 of the project review process link to step 3 of the project review process link to step4a link to step 4b Link to step 4c
Last updated: March 31, 2017