Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
Endangered Species: Self-Certification Procedure for Communication Tower Projects in Virginia Project Review Steps

To streamline the review for communications tower projects, we have developed the following process for project review which takes into consideration available information on federally proposed/listed species and federally proposed/designated critical habitat within Virginia, in accordance with provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended. 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. Voluntary best management practices for migratory birds.

To minimize adverse impacts to migratory birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Communication Tower Guidance as possible.

Step 2. Bald Eagle

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 54 Stat. 250), as amended. See the Resources tab for Bald Eagle to determine if your project may disturb bald eagles.

Step 3. Federally listed threatened and endangered species.

Determine if your project is one of the following types of proposed actions that will have "no effect" on federally proposed/listed threatened or endangered species and federally proposed/designated critical habitat:

(A) Co-location 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.

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

(C) Transfer of ownership of existing towers.

Step 4. 

If your project is one of the actions described in Step 3, no further coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is needed.

Step 5. 

If your project is not one of the actions described in Step 3, follow the project review guidelines


Return to Project Review Guidelines

Online Project Review Introduction
Step 1: Description of Action
Step 2: Action Area
Step 3a: Official Species List
Step 3b: Northern Long-Eared Bat
Step 3c: Critical Habitat
Step 4: Suitable Habitat
Step 5: Determinations
Step 6: Project Review Package


Wind Energy
Communications Tower
Bald Eagle

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Last updated: April 23, 2021