Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
Endangered Species: Project Reviews in Virginia Project Review Steps

STEP 5:  ESA SECTION 7 DETERMINATIONS

When you have identified the appropriate species/habitat presence scenario for each species in your project’s action area, these tables facilitate making appropriate ESA Section 7 determinations for each species. For each row in your ESA Section 7 Determination Table that has not been completed in the steps above, use the steps outlined in the tables below to make your ESA Section 7 Determination for each species or critical habitat (Not Likely to Adversely Affect OR Likely to Adversely Affect) in column 4. The “available evidence” includes all project components, species biology/ecology, critical habitat physical and biological features information, and how those may interact. In the final column, describe the supporting evidence for your determination including elements of your project that will or will not cause adverse effects and why, based on the species biology and/or physical and biological features of critical habitat.

 

 

Section 7 Determinations: Reasoning and Decision –

Listed Species

Step

Apply the available evidence

to determine if:

Is this statement…

Section 7 Determination

Action

A

There is no overlap in space or time between the proposed project and listed/proposed species or their habitat, or designated/proposed critical habitat. 
[i.e., no suitable habitat present]

TRUE

No effect

Go to Step 6

FALSE

May affect

Go to B

If suitable habitat

is present,

start here (B) --->

B

Individuals of a listed/proposed species are not likely to be exposed to one or more consequences of the proposed project.

TRUE

Not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)

Go to Step 6

FALSE

N/A

Go to C

C

Individuals of a listed/proposed species are not likely to respond upon being exposed to one or more consequences of the proposed project.

TRUE

NLAA

Go to Step 6

FALSE

N/A

Go to D

D

Upon being exposed to one or more of the effects of the proposed project, any responses are not likely to reduce the fitness of an individual of a listed/proposed species that has been exposed.

TRUE

NLAA

Go to Step 6

FALSE

Possible likely to adversely affect (LAA)

Submit a Review Request

 

Section 7 Determinations: Reasoning and Decision - Critical Habitat

Step

Apply the available evidence

 to determine if:

Is this statement…

Section 7 Determination

Action

A

There is no overlap in time and space between the proposed project and designated/proposed critical habitat.

TRUE

No effect

Go to Step 6

FALSE

May affect

Go to B

 

If Critical Habitat

is present,

start here (B) --->

B

Areas of designated/proposed critical habitat are not likely to be exposed to one or more consequences of the proposed project.

TRUE

NLAA

Go to Step 6

FALSE

N/A

Go to C

C

The quantity, quality, or availability of one or more physical or biological features of critical habitat are not likely to be reduced upon being exposed to one or more consequences produced by the proposed project.

TRUE

NLAA

Go to Step 6

FALSE

Possible LAA

Submit a Review Request

 

ESA Section 7 Determination Table EXAMPLES:

Culvert replacement example:


Species/Resource Name

Species/Habitat Presence in Action Area

Sources of Info

ESA Section 7 Determination

Project Elements that Support Determination

Gray bats

Suitable habitat present; species not present

Conducted bat survey within 6 months of project start date and found no bats. Habitat assessment or survey attached.

Not likely to adversely affect

There are no caves in the project area and we will not be doing any tree clearing; will complete work outside of TOY restriction of April 1-Oct 31.

Ditching/ditch clearing example:


Species/Resource Name

Species/Habitat Presence in Action Area

Sources of Info

ESA Section 7 Determination

Project Elements that Support Determination

Fluted kidneyshell

Suitable habitat present; species present

Recent survey found individuals within the action area, downstream of the project footprint. Individuals were located in stream to which ditch drains. Habitat assessment or survey attached.

Not likely to adversely affect

There will be no instream work in occupied stream, work will be completed in the dry in the ditch  approx. 1000 m upstream. If flowing water is encountered, a non-erodible cofferdam will be used to pump water around the project area. The water will be filtered prior to discharge,  thereby reducing sediment to the occupied stream.

Bridge construction example:


Species/Resource Name

Species/Habitat Presence in Action Area

Sources of Info

ESA Section 7 Determination

Project Elements that Support Determination

Roanoke logperch

Suitable habitat present; species present

Recent survey detected species in project area. Habitat assessment or survey attached.

Likely to adversely affect

We will permanently remove 250 sq feet of habitat and the project design cannot be modified.

Continue to Step 6.

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


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Last updated: April 23, 2021