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Road Services - Regional Road Maintenance Endangered Species Act (ESA) Program Guidelines

Regional guidelines


In January 2002, twenty-four Washington State agencies (including WSDOT) formally submitted a joint routine road maintenance program to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) for approval under Limit 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 4(d) rule. The Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program Guidelines (Regional Program) describes physical, structural, and managerial best management practices designed so that when they are used, singularly or in combination, they reduce road maintenance activities’ impacts on water and habitat.

The Federal action of approving the Regional Program under Limit 10 required environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to meet NOAA Fisheries’ environmental documentation requirements under NEPA. In addition, a Sequential EA was developed to more specifically evaluate the environmental consequences associated with the Regional Program. The Sequential EA analysis evaluated various alternatives to the Regional Program and also determined what possible direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on the human environment may occur by approving a Limit 10 submittal from agencies within the State of Washington.

Biological Opinion

›› Biological Opinion (280KB .pdf)

The Biological Opinion (BO) was prepared by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act on the effects of the proposed qualification of the Regional Road Maintenance Program submitted by 25 jurisdictions in Washington State for 12 threatened salmonid ESU's, pursuant to Limit No 10 (ii) of the NMFS 4(d) Rule. In this opinion, NOAA Fisheries concludes that the proposed action is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of ESA-listed salmon or adversely modify their designated critical habitat.

This document contains consultation on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) pursuant to section 305 (d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR Part 600). NOAA Fisheries concludes that the proposed action may adversely affect designated EFH for 47 species of ground fish, 5 costal pelagic species, and 3 species of Pacific Salmon. As required by section 305 (b)(4)(A) of the MSA, included are conservation recommendations that NOAA fisheries believes will avoid, minimize, mitigate, or otherwise offset adverse effects on EFH resulting form the proposed action.

The Regional Forum continues to work with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to determine the best mechanism for continuing business activities utilizing the Regional Program and protecting bull trout and other USFWS species.

Thirty agencies have now received a Biological Opinion from NOAA Fisheries: City of Bellevue, Bremerton, Burien, Covington, Edgewood, Everett, Kenmore, Kent, Lake Forest Park, Lakewood, Maple Valley, Mill Creek, Monroe, Newcastle, Poulsbo, Renton, Sammamish, Shoreline, Sea Tac, Tacoma and University Place; Clallam County, Clark County, King County, Kitsap County, Mason County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and Thurston County; and the Washington Department of Transportation.

Related links

Contact us

If your agency is interested in submitting a Part 3 Application or for more information regarding the Regional Program please contact Janine Johanson by phone at 206-205-7101 or e-mail.

Information from the Road Services Division's website is available to people with disabilities in alternate formats upon request by calling 206-477-3839 or 711 for the TTY relay service.

External link = External link

Program cover
View the full report:
Local agencies desiring to submit a Part 3 Application for NMFS 4(d) rule under Washington States Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program Guidelines should contact the Regional Forum at 206-205-7101 or send an e-mail to Janine Johanson