Maine Field Office - Ecological Services
Northeast Region

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Self-Certification Procedure for Communication Tower Projects in Maine

To streamline the review process for communications tower projects, we have developed avoidance and minimization measures, no effect criteria, and procedures for project review.  The measures, criteria, and procedures take into consideration available information on migratory birds, federally listed threatened and endangered species, and bald eagles within Maine, in accordance with provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712, 40 Stat. 755), as amended; Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended ESA; and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 54 Stat. 250), as amended Eagle Act.  This process also provides 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), as amended.

Step 1.  Migratory birds. 
To minimize adverse impacts to migratory birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) strongly encourages collocating 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 from the Service Guidance on the Siting, Construction, Operation and Decommissioning of Communication Towers as possible.   

Step 2.  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 unlikely to disturb bald eagles:

(A) Collocation of new equipment or antennae or any infrastructure improvements at an existing structure (tower, water tank, building, etc.) where all ground disturbance occurs within cleared or regularly mowed areas
and there are no new or improved stream crossings.

(B) Routine maintenance or repair of existing towers or their sites.

(C) Transfer of ownership of existing towers. 

Step 3. 
For projects that meet the criteria in Steps 1-2, no further coordination with the Service is needed.  Complete the self-certification letter, retain a copy in your project files, and mail a copy to the address on the letterhead.  This letter will be maintained in our records.  For all other projects continue to Step 4.

Step 4. 
If the project does not meet the criteria in Step 2 follow the project review guidelines for other projects.

If you have questions about these procedures, contact Wende Mahaney ( or Mark McCollough ( of this office at 207/866-3344 .


Last updated: October 2, 2012
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