Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Eco-Logical Webinar
Step 7 of the Integrated Eco-Logical Framework (IEF): Developing Programmatic Agreements and Consultations

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern

Presenter: Cindy Callahan, Federal Highway Administration
Presenter: Marc Liverman, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
Presenter: John Raasch, Oregon DOT
Presenter: Danny Peake, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

PDF Version [4.2 MB]

One-Page Webinar Summary: HTML and PDF [547kB]


Table of Contents

Step 7: Developing Programmatic Agreements and Consultations

The Oregon Federal Aid Highway Programmatic Endangered Species Act Consultation

Kentucky's Letter of Permission Process


Step 7: Developing Programmatic Agreements and Consultations

Slide 1: Developing Programmatic Agreements and Consultations Step 7 of the Integrated Eco-Logical Framework

Presenters (ESA Consultation)

  • Cindy Callahan, FHWA WA/OR Divisions
  • Marc Liverman, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
  • John Raasch, Oregon Department of Transportation

Presenters (Army Corp LOP)

  • Danny Peake, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Image: A collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the report Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects

Slide 2: Integrated Eco-Logical Framework (IEF)

  • Process to guide transportation and resource specialists in the integration of transportation and ecological decisionmaking.
  • Helps identify potential impacts to environmental resources very early in the planning process.

Slide 3: Steps of the IEF (and the Eco-Logical approach)

  1. Build and strengthen collaborative partnerships
  2. Integrate natural environment plans
  3. Create a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF)
  4. Assess effects on conservation objectives

Partner
Share Data
Analyze Effects

  1. Establish and prioritize ecological actions
  2. Develop crediting strategy

Identify key sites and actions

  1. Develop programmatic consultation, biological opinion, or permit
  2. Implement agreements, adaptive management, and deliver projects
  3. Update REF

Document
Implement
Evaluate

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The Oregon Federal Aid Highway Programmatic Endangered Species Act Consultation

Slide 4: The Oregon Federal Aid Highway Programmatic Endangered Species Act Consultation

Cindy Callahan, Environmental Specialist/Biologist
Federal Highway Administration, Washington/Oregon Divisions

Marc Liverman, Willamette Branch Chief
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

John Raasch, Environmental Resources Unit Manager
Oregon Department of Transportation

Images: Logos of the following agencies: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries West Coast Region, and Oregon Department of Transportation

Slide 5: Presentation Topics

  • Oregon ESA Consultation Challenges
  • Past Consultation Approaches
  • FAHP Consultation Components
  • FAHP Results
  • Questions?

Image: Photograph of whitewater streaming over rocks in the woods

Slide 6: Oregon ESA Consultation Challenges

Numerous Listed Species/Critical Habitats

  • NMFS: 17 species, 16 critical habitats
  • USFWS: 19 species, 11 critical habitats

Slide 7: ODOT – FHWA Possible STIP Projects, EAS Implications

Image: Map of projects from Oregon DOT's Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan overlaid onto land and marine species habitat areas. Most projects are on or near identified habitat areas.

Slide 8: Oregon ESA Consultation Challenges (cont.)

  • Impact Pile Driving and Hydroacoustic Effects
  • Most In-water Work = Adverse Effects to Fish/Habitat
  • Stormwater Runoff
    • Turbidity
    • Dissolved metals: Formal Consultation
    • Cumulative Effects
  • Floodplain Fill/Bank Hardening

Image: Photograph of industrial equipment rig located off of the Oregon coast

Slide 9: Oregon ESA Consultation Challenges (cont.)

Individual Formal Consultations

  • Costly (BAs range $15,000.00 to $100,000+)
  • Time Consuming
    • 4 to 6 months to prepare BA
    • At least 200 days in consultation
    • Redundant effects analysis for similar actions
  • Terms and Conditions Variability
    • Unpredictable Requirements
    • Constructability Issues

Slide 10: Past Consultation Approaches

Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species (SLOPES IV)

  • 2008 US Army Corps of Engineers Programmatic
  • Only for Corps Nexus Projects (otherwise individual consultation)
    • Roads, Culverts, Bridges, Utility Lines
    • Does Not Cover Stormwater Effect-Only Projects
  • FHWA was not Co-action agency

Image: Photograph of a fish

Slide 11: Past Consultation Approaches (cont.)

Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species (SLOPES IV)

  • Maintain or Improve Environmental Baseline
  • Project Notification Form
  • Variance Process
  • No Online Dashboard

Image: Photograph of a fish

Slide 12: Federal Aid Highway Programmatic (FAHP)

Approach

  • 1 BA for NOAA and USFWS, Statewide
  • Largely Based on SLOPES IV
  • Any Project with FHWA Funds
  • Either 5-year (USFWS) or Indefinite Lifespan (NMFS)
  • Address all types of activities with very specific exclusions (EIS projects, new stream crossings, etc.)

Slide 13: FAHP (cont.)

Goals

  • Facilitate Efficient ESA Compliance
  • Provide Predictability to Project Teams
  • Avoid and Minimize Adverse Impacts to Species/CH
  • Make Contribution Towards Species Recovery (section 7(a) 1 responsibility)
  • Reduce Agencies’ Workload

Slide 14: FAHP (cont.)

Reporting

  • Electronic Project Notification Form
  • Monitoring Forms
  • Database Accessible to FHWA and Services
  • Electronic Dashboard by Project

Slide 15: ODOT ESA Project Status Tracking

Image: Screenshot showing a sample project in Oregon DOT's online project tracking map

Slide 16: FAHP (cont.)

Timeline

  • BA Development late 2010-October 2011
  • Consultation Initiated October 2011
  • Signed Biological Opinion (NMFS) Received November 2012
  • Program Rollout Spring/Summer 2013

Slide 17: FAHP Results

  • Two pathway process, NMFS review, or NMFS notification only (FHWA review)
  • Over 52 projects have utilized FAHP
  • Increased conservation outcomes
  • 95% Federal Aid program covered
  • 50% reduction in BA prep time/cost
  • 85% reduction in review time (200 to 12 [FHWA] to 45 [NMFS] days)
  • NMFS liaison staffing reduced from 3 FTEs to 1

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Kentucky's Letter of Permission Process

Slide 18: Kentucky's Letter of Permission Process

Danny R. Peake
Ecology and Permitting Section
KYTC

Image: Photograph of a gentle winding rural stream. There are approximately seven people on the stream's banks, inspecting the area.

Image: Logo of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Slide 19: Kentucky's Letter Of Permission Process

  • KYTC began meeting in 2005 with the USACE, the PN was issued in 2007 and we have been using the LOP for the past 6 years.
  • It was developed to permit MOST KYTC projects that would have been previously permitted with an Individual Permit using a new streamlined process.
  • For example: projects that have impacts to streams that exceed 500' of loss or wetland impacts exceeding 0.5 acre of loss.

Image: A copy of the Public Notice Announcing Issuance of a Letter of Permission of the new streamlined process

Slide 20: Terms of the Agreement

KYTC must: agree to provide more information than what is required for a typical individual permit

USACE must: agree to process the application using a strict timeline of 120 days

GOALS: streamline the permitting process, eliminate joint IP/NWP, address cumulative impacts, enhance agency coordination

Image: Photograph of a wetland with a lilypad-covered pond in the foreground

Slide 21: (No title)

What challenges existed before the programmatic agreement, and how did implementing the programmatic help improve the transportation project development process?:

  • Time.
  • Pre-LOP, Individual permits took 18 to 36 months—some even longer—to be issued (total time from submittal to issue date)

Image: Photograph of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge accident, Kentucky Lake, 2012 which shows a bridge with a large section missing. A large ferry has almost completely passed under the bridge. The missing bridge section is crumpled and wrapped around the front of the ferry.

Slide 22: (No title)

After LOP: 4 to 9 months (total time from pre-application to issue date)

Image: Artist rendering of the new Eggner's Ferry bridge

Slide 23: (No title)

How have relationships between transportation and resource partners evolved during the development of the programmatic and its implementation?:

Image: Photograph of a group of seven people in an overgrown field of wildflowers. The photograph has been edited to appear that some in the group are announcing the name of their agency: three are “shouting” USACE, one is “shouting” USFWS, and one is “shouting” KYTC.

Slide 24: (No title)

What is the process for a transportation project receiving a permit under this programmatic?:

  1. Application Preparation
  2. Pre-Application Submittal
  3. Site Visit (all Agencies are invited)
  4. Complete Application Submittal
  5. Agency coordination/agency solicitation for comments
  6. KYTC address agency comments
  7. Permit issued

Image: Photograph of the edge of a lilypad-covered pond overgrown with colorful wildflowers

Slide 25: (No title)

  1. Application Preparation
  2. Pre-Application Submittal
  • Impacts may not exceed 7 cumulative acres
  • No impacts to water supply sources allowed;
  • Controversial projects shall not be permitted by the LOP
  • Not able to use if project “may affect” a listed species, critical habitat or historic resource

Image: Aerial photograph of the Louisville Bridges project. The photograph caption states that the Louisville Bridges project is an “example of a controversial project.”

Slide 26: (No title)

c. Site Visit; Agencies invited:

  • USACE
  • KDOW
  • SHPO
  • EPA
  • KDFWR
  • USFWS

Image: Photograph of five people inspecting a wetland in the rain

Slide 27: (No title)

d. Complete Application Submittal (The USACOE has 120 days to process)

Items required for a complete application:

  • Cover letter
  • Permit application form
  • Project Vicinity Map, alignment map, impact station maps
  • Summary of Section 404/401 Impacts
  • Impact Summary Table
  • Photos
  • Rapid Protocol Bio-assessment Sheets
  • Preliminary Jurisdictional Form
  • LOP Assessment of Environmental, Social and Other Factors
  • LOP Checklist
  • Alternatives Analysis, project description, purpose and need statement and mitigation plan
  • Sec 7 and 106 Clearance
  • WQC
  • Roadway plans
  • Waste site plans

Slide 28: (No title)

e. Agency coordination/agency solicitation for comments (21 day PCN)
f. KYTC address agency comments
g. Permit issuance

Image: Copy of a letter from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in response to a project permit from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Image: Photograph of a “Begin Road Work” sign

Slide 29: (No title)

Can you provide examples of specific projects that have benefitted from the implementation of the programmatic?:
Not really, since every project that has been permitted using the LOP process has benefited due to the quickness of the process. It has been especially beneficial for projects that “surprisingly” pop up with quick letting dates

Image: Photograph of a map of Kentucky laid out upon a dark shiny hardwood floor. The map has the following words printed across it: I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.

Slide 30: Questions?

What insights have you gained from your experience implementing this programmatic or from evaluation that would be useful to share with peer transportation agencies and their partners?:

  • Side benefits such as re-examining our application process
  • Relationship building w/in agency and interagency,
  • This agreement was worth the risk of time used in implementation
  • KYTC as an agency is more aware of the needs of what the USACE PMs need in order to issue a permit which allows us to submit a better application – which should allow for quicker application review

Danny.Peake@ky.gov

Image: A three-paneled comic strip titled “Two Guys And Guy - Insight.”

Slide 31: Environmental factors

  • Threatened of endangered species
  • Economics
  • Aesthetics
  • Special aquatic sites
  • Historic properties
  • Fish and wildlife values
  • Flood hazards
  • Flood plain values
  • Land use classification
  • Navigation
  • Shore erosion
  • Recreation
  • Existing and potential water supplies
  • Water quality
  • Energy needs
  • Safety
  • Food and fiber production
  • Mineral needs
  • Consideration of property ownership

Slide 32: LOP Transportation Projects Complete Application Check List

Image: Copy of the LOP Transportation Projects Complete Application Check List

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