Eagle Incidental Take Permits for Power Lines

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a goal to maintain stable or increasing breeding populations for both bald eagles and golden eagles. The Service may authorize the "take" of eagles, but only where the take is compatible with the preservation of bald and golden eagles, and the take is associated with, but not the purpose, of an activity and cannot be practicably avoided. This type of take is considered "incidental take."

Power line entities have expressed interest in obtaining authorization for eagle incidental take caused by powerline infrastructure; however, a number of barriers have limited participation in permitting. Under the 2024 eagle rule, the Service created a general permit option for power line entities that can comply with standardized conditions. We also revised the specific permit process to provide an option for power line entities that require more customization. The Service anticipates increased benefits to eagle populations as more power line entities obtain permits and implement required avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures.

The Service recommends a general permit for any power line entity that can comply with standardized general permit conditions. Specific permits are available for power line entities that seek customized permit conditions. We have created multiple tiers within this permit type: 

  • General permits: All power line entities are eligible for general permits. The Service requires power line entities to develop four strategies: collision response, proactive retrofit, reactive retrofit, and shooting response, as defined in § 22.260(b). The Service encourages power line entities with an Avian Protection Plan (APP) to incorporate these strategies into the APP. However, power line entities may choose to include these four strategies as part of an APP or as stand-alone strategies.
  • Tier 1 specific permits: These permits are for low-complexity applications that require minor modifications to the general permit conditions. The Service anticipates expediting Tier 1 application processing. 
  • Tier 2 specific permits: These permits are for moderately complex applications that can be categorically excluded from additional NEPA procedural requirements and need unique or substantive modifications to the general permit conditions, such as negotiated compensatory mitigation requirements.
  • Tier 2 with reimbursable agreement: In the rare circumstance a power line application exceeds 275 hours in review time, the Service will charge the Tier 2 fee and require applicants, including government agencies, to enter into a reimbursable agreement with the Service to offset additional Service costs associated with this added complexity and increased review time exceeding 275 hours. Exceeding 275 hours is expected only in rare cases; for example, if the Service's decision cannot be categorically excluded under NEPA or permit conditions require extensive negotiations.

    Fee Schedule for Eagle Incidental Take Permits for Power Lines
Tier LevelApplication Fee1Administration Fee2Amendment Fee

General Permit 



General Permit


 Specific Permit Tier 1$18,000$10,000$500
 Specific Permit Tier 2 $26,000$10,000$500

1A reimbursable agreement may be required for specific eagle permits to cover the costs above estimated staff-hours.

2For existing permittees, the Service will charge an amendment fee and an administration fee for permittee-requested substantive amendments that require new analysis, such as modifications that result in re-estimating take, re-evaluating compensatory mitigation requirements, or requiring additional environmental review to comply with procedural requirements under NEPA.

3As defined by Energy Information Administration

General Permits Issued To-Date

Apply for:

General Permit - Power Lines

Specific Permit - Power Lines

General Permit Standard Conditions for Power Lines

General Permit Standard Conditions - Powerlines

These permit conditions accompany the authorization to take (injure or kill) bald eagles and golden eagles incidental to operations of power line infrastructure. This take is authorized provided there is no practicable alternative to avoiding or minimizing it. General permit eligibility criteria...