Occasionally, federal agencies must respond to emergency situations where human life and property are in danger. Examples include oil spills, wildland fire, and weather events such as Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementing regulations recognize the need to respond immediately to emergencies and provide special procedures that allow federal agencies the latitude to complete their emergency responses in order to secure human life and property without delay, while still providing them with protections that normal compliance under the ESA would have afforded them.
It is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s policy to assist federal agencies with their ESA compliance issues during an emergency response, but to never delay the necessary response to secure human life and property.
Understanding emergency provisions under the ESA
The links below are provided to assist you in understanding emergency provisions under the ESA, to provide access to pre-existing policies and guidance for emergency responses, and to illustrate typical emergency responses that the Southeast Region has provided in the past:
- Explanation of emergency response process
- Endangered Species Act Exemptions in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas
- Section 7 Flowchart-Emergency Procedures
- Sample to Request Emergency Consultation
- Sample Timber Salvage Response Letter
- Miami blue butterfly hurricane response best management practices
- Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak and Florida leafwing hurricane response best management practices
- Key deer hurricane response
- Stock Island tree snail hurricane response
- BMPs for Emergency Road Work in Puerto Rico
- Guidelines for Aerial Delivery of Retardant or Foam near Waterways
- Prevention of Wildfires – Streamlining Section 7 Consultation on Hazardous Fuels Treatment Projects
Oil spills and other hazardous materials
- Interagency Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Oil Spill Planning and Response Activities Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act’s National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan and the Endangered Species Act
- Spill Responses - A Selection Guide for Oil Spill Applied Technologies
- Regional Consultation Pre-authorizing of Solidifier Use in the northeast Gulf of Mexico
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill best management practices
- NOAA Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps
In general, we encourage agencies and the public to contact the field office in the State where their project is located. A list of State offices and their contact information can be found online If your project is in a marine environment, please contact the National Marine Fisheries Service.
For anything else including general questions, consultation on multi-state projects, or if you simply need additional information, please contact the Southeast Region’s Division of Environmental Review.
Christine Willis, Regional Energy Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org, (404) 679-7310
Jerry Ziewitz, Regional Consultation Coordinator
email@example.com, (850) 877-6513
Rob Tawes, Chief, Division of Environmental Review
firstname.lastname@example.org, (404) 679-7142