Ecological Services
Northeast Region


May 2018 Update: The Oil and Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is currently being prepared. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) just received the preliminary administrative draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and will be reviewing it in the near future. 

A coalition of nine oil and gas companies will be requesting a 50-year incidental take permit (ITP) to cover potential effects to five bat species from their oil and gas exploration, production and maintenance activities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The bat species include the endangered Indiana bat, threatened northern long-eared bat, eastern small-footed bat, little brown bat and tri-colored bat.

Oil and natural gas development involves the construction of drilling pads, access roads, pipelines, holding ponds and various other infrastructure projects, known as the covered activities. As part of the permitting process, the Coalition will develop a habitat conservation plan (HCP) to avoid, minimize and offset (mitigate) for effects to the bat species. The Service will develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) before making a permit issuance decision for the Coalition’s HCP.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) held a 30-day public scoping period from November 25, 2016 to December 27, 2016 (see the Federal Register notice) during which we invited input regarding development of the draft EIS, which will evaluate the impacts to the human environment associated with issuance of an ITP and implementation of the Coalition’s HCP. Public scoping meetings were held at venues within the project Plan Area between December 12, 2016 and December 16, 2016, as well as through an online public scoping webinar on December 20, 2016. Refer to the NOI, FAQ and Scoping Report links for details about those meetings.

More Information:

Press Release
Federal Register Notice
Maps (pdf)
FAQs (pdf)
What are HCPs? (pdf)

Scoping Meetings Materials and Report:

Environmental Overview and Issues (pdf)
NEPA Process Overview (pdf)
NEPA Section 10 Timing (pdf)
Endangered Species Act and Incidental Take Permits (pdf)
Species List (pdf)
NEPA NOI Scoping Meeting Presentation (PowerPoint)
HCP Purpose and Need (pdf)
HCP Plan Area and Covered Activities (pdf)
Scoping Report for the Oil and Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan EIS (pdf)
Scoping Report Appendix A (pdf)
Scoping Report Appendix B (pdf)
Scoping Report Appendix C (pdf)
Scoping Report Appendix D (pdf)

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Last updated: May 18, 2018