U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office Project Screening Chart

Last updated March 8, 2021.

This chart is for use as part of Step 3 of our Step by Step Instructions for Project Review(Step 3 is Determine if Service Review is Needed.)

 

Screening Chart Instructions:

 

  1. Optional step – habitat screening. Before proceeding to Step 2, project proponents can elect to screen the action area for suitable habitats for certain species. Under the circumstances listed here, you can conclude "no effect" for that species. Then proceed to Step 2 to screen the rest of the species returned in your IPaC report. Please note: the action area is generally larger than the project footprint, see guidance in NJFO’s Step by Step Instructions for Project Review. If portions of the project’s action area cannot be accessed/surveyed, the project proponent should assume presence of suitable habitat and proceed to Step 2.

o   Bog turtle  – proposed activities are "no effect" if there is no suitable habitat within the action area as determined by a Phase 1 survey conducted by a recognized, qualified surveyor.

o   Piping plover – proposed activities are "no effect" if there is no dry beach within the action area (i.e., if the mean high water line reaches to a boardwalk, bulkhead, seawall, other artificial structure, or to a steep, stabilized, densely vegetated dune).

o   Red knot – proposed activities are "no effect" if the action area lacks ALL of the following: unstabilized dune, dry beach, and sparsely vegetated intertidal habitat of any kind (e.g., beach “swash” zone, sand flat, mud flat, algal flat, shoal, sand spit, islet, peat bank, tidal marsh blowouts/pans).

o   Swamp pink – proposed activities are "no effect" if there are no forested wetlands within the action area.

o   Sensitive joint-vetch – proposed activities are "no effect" if there is no fresh or brackish tidal marsh within the action area.

o   Seabeach amaranth – proposed activities are "no effect" if there is no dry beach within the action area (i.e., if the mean high water line reaches to a boardwalk, bulkhead, seawall, other artificial structure, or to a steep, stabilized, densely vegetated dune).

  1. In the header row across the top, locate each species returned on your IPaC report (other than those that were determined “no effect” based on a habitat screening in Step 1, above).  Please note about critical habitat: Each species returned in the IPaC report must be screened regardless of the IPaC results regarding designated critical habitat. Species for which no critical habitat has been designated should still be screened. Likewise, species should be screened even if IPaC indicates that the action area is outside of any designated critical habitat.
  2. For each species indicated in your IPaC report, begin with Screening Question 1 and proceed downward in that same column until reaching ONE of the following conclusions for that species.
  3. If you reach a conclusion to follow one of the IPaC Determination Keys (Indiana and northern long-eared bats only), follow the instructions at the link provided, THEN complete screening of all other species listed on your IPaC report using the chart below.
  4. If you reach of a conclusion of "submit project information" for ONE OR MORE of the listed species indicated in your IPaC report, then follow the instructions at this link to Step 4 (Submit Project Information).
  5. No Endangered Species Act review is needed if ALL species listed on your IPaC report reach one of the following conclusions:

In this case, print this letter for your files and proceed with Step 6 of our Step by Step Instructions for Project Review (Step 6 is Protect Other Wildlife Resources).

 

Screen for Each Species Listed on IPaC 

Report

Bog Turtle

 

Swamp Pink AND/OR

Knieskern’s 

Beaked-rush

Dwarf 

Wedgemussel

Indiana Bat

Northern

Long-eared Bat (NLEB)

Small Whorled

Pogonia

American

Chaffseed

Sensitive Joint-vetch

Black Rail

Piping Plover AND/OR

Red Knot AND/OR

Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle AND/OR

Seabeach Amaranth

Screening Question #1

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of a freshwater wetland?

 

Yes =  Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 2.

 

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of a freshwater wetland?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 2.

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of a freshwater river or stream?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 2.

Is the project funded or authorized by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, or the Federal Transit Administration?

Yes = 
Use the IPaC Determination Key to comply with the 2018 revised FHWA/FRA/FTA Programmatic Biological Opinion.

No = Go to Question 2.

Is the project funded or authorized by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, or the Federal Transit Administration?

Yes = 
Use the IPaC Determination Key to comply with the 2018 revised FHWA/FRA/FTA Programmatic Biological Opinion.

No = Go to Question 2.

Does the project involve tree clearing or other activities in any wooded areas?

 

Yes =  Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Does the project involve disturbance to grassland habitat (e.g., fields, right-of-way) dominated by native herbaceous vegetation? (Grass lawn that is mowed multiple times during the growing season, and areas dominated by woody vegetation or invasive herbaceous vegetation, should NOT be considered grassland habitat.)

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of a brackish or freshwater tidal wetland, or any modifications / impacts to any tidal river?

 

Yes =  Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of an emergent 

(i.e., herbaceous) wetland (e.g., tidal or non-tidal; saline, brackish, or fresh)?

 

Yes =  Submit project information to NJFOConference is recommended, possibly required.

 

No = No effect. Conference is not necessary.

Does the project include activity in or within 500 feet of an unstabilized dune, dry beach, or sparsely vegetated intertidal habitat of any kind (e.g., beach “swash” zone, sand flat, mud flat, algal flat, shoal, sand spit, islet, peat bank, tidal marsh blowout / pan); AND/OR involve dredging within 0.5 mile of the Mean Lower Low Water line?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 2.

Screening Question #2

Does the project involve ground disturbance;  new impervious surface (≥0.25 acre net gain); storm water changes (e.g., new outfalls, increased volume or rate of discharge); waste water discharges; ground or surface water withdrawals; water impoundment or diversion (temporary or permanent); bridges over water bodies; culverts; and/or water control structures?

 

Yes =  Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 3.

 

Does the project involve ground disturbance;  new impervious surface (≥0.25 acre net gain); storm water changes (e.g., new outfalls, increased volume or rate of discharge); waste water discharges; ground or surface water withdrawals; water impoundment or diversion (temporary or permanent); bridges over water bodies; culverts; and/or water control structures?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 3.

Does the project involve ground disturbance;  new impervious surface (≥0.25 acre net gain); storm water changes (e.g., new outfalls, increased volume or rate of discharge); waste water discharges; ground or surface water withdrawals; water impoundment or diversion (temporary or permanent); bridges over water bodies; culverts; and/or water control structures?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 3.

Does the project involve activity in/near a cave or mine tunnel (excluding tunnels that are 100% sealed or are completely flooded)?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 3.

Complete the Northern Long-eared Bat 4(d) Rule determination key on IPaC. The determination key will automatically answer questions about whether your project location is within 0.25 mile of a hibernaculum or 150 feet of a maternity roost. Did the determination key evaluation return a statement that "based on its location, incidental take from the proposed project may not be excepted under the 4(d) Rule"? 

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = The project is in compliance with the NLEB 4(d) rule. No further consultation/ technical assistance for this species is required.

 

 

 

 

Will the project involve new or expanded human access to any beach; activities audible or visible from any beach or intertidal habitat; low-flying aircraft; and/or fireworks displays?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 3.

Screening Question

#3

Does the project involve storage, use, or transport of herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products, or other potential environmental contaminants?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

 

Does the project involve storage, use, or transport of herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products, or other potential environmental contaminants?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Does the project involve storage, use, or transport of herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products, or other potential environmental contaminants?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Does the project involve tree clearing?

 

Yes = Go to Question 4.

 

No = Go to Question 6.

 

 

 

 

Does the project involve a new or enlarged wind turbine?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 4.

 

Screening Question #4

 

 

 

Will the tree clearing be conducted during the restricted season as per the dates listed below this chart?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does the project involve transport or storage of petroleum products and/or spill response planning?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 5.

Screening Question #5

 

 

 

Is the tree clearing over 1 acre in Morris, Somerset, or Sussex Counties; or over 5 acres elsewhere?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Does the project involve any impacts to horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay (e.g., potential blockage, entrapment or entanglement of adults; potential entrainment of larvae; harvest or collection for any purpose)?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

Screening Question #6

 

 

 

Does the project involve use of pesticides OR a new or enlarged wind turbine?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = Go to Question 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screening Question #7

 

 

 

Will any new artificial lighting be directed toward suitable habitat, or installed without downward facing shields?

 

Yes = Submit project information to NJFO.

 

No = No effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recommended seasonal restriction on tree clearing for Indiana bat is as follows:

·                  In municipalities with hibernation occurrence: April 1 - November 15.

·                  In municipalities with maternity occurrence: April 1 - September 30.

·                  In municipalities with both hibernation and maternity occurrence: April 1 - November 15.

·                  In areas of potential occurrence (i.e., all areas returned by IPaC but not on the bat municipality list): April 1 - September 30.