50 CFR 22.26 - Permits for eagle take that is associated with, but not the purpose of, an activity.
(a)Purpose and scope. This permit authorizes take of bald eagles and golden eagles where the take is compatible with the preservation of the bald eagle and the golden eagle; is necessary to protect an interest in a particular locality; is associated with, but not the purpose of, the activity; and cannot practicably be avoided.
(b)Definitions. In addition to the definitions contained in part 10 of this subchapter, and § 22.3, the following definition applies in this section:
Eagle means a live bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), live golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), a bald eagle egg, or a golden eagle egg.
(c)Permit conditions. In addition to the conditions set forth in part 13 of this subchapter, which govern permit renewal, amendment, transfer, suspension, revocation, and other procedures and requirements for all permits issued by the Service, your authorization is subject to the following additional conditions:
(1) You must comply with all avoidance, minimization, or other mitigation measures specified in the terms of your permit to mitigate for the detrimental effects on eagles, including indirect and cumulative effects, of the permitted take.
(i) Compensatory mitigation scaled to project impacts will be required for any permit authorizing take that would exceed the applicable eagle management unit take limits. Compensatory mitigation for this purpose must ensure the preservation of the affected eagle species by reducing another ongoing form of mortality by an amount equal to or greater than the unavoidable mortality, or increasing the eagle population by an equal or greater amount.
(ii) Compensatory mitigation may also be required in the following circumstances:
(B) When available data indicate that cumulative unauthorized mortality would exceed 10 percent of the local area population.
(iii) All required compensatory mitigation must:
(A) Be determined based on application of all practicable avoidance and minimization measures;
(B) Be sited within the same eagle management unit where the permitted take will occur unless the Service has reliable data showing that the population affected by the take includes individuals that are reasonably likely to use another eagle management unit during part of their seasonal migration;
(C) Use the best available science in formulating and monitoring the long-term effectiveness of mitigation measures and use rigorous compliance and effectiveness monitoring and evaluation to make certain that mitigation measures achieve their intended outcomes, or that necessary changes are implemented to achieve them;
(D) Be additional and improve upon the baseline conditions of the affected eagle species in a manner that is demonstrably new and would not have occurred without the compensatory mitigation (voluntary actions taken in anticipation of meeting compensatory mitigation requirements for an eagle take permit not yet granted may be credited toward compensatory mitigation requirements);
(E) Be durable and, at a minimum, maintain its intended purpose for as long as impacts of the authorized take persist; and
(F) Include mechanisms to account for and address uncertainty and risk of failure of a compensatory mitigation measure.
(iv) Compensatory mitigation may include conservation banking, in-lieu fee programs, and other third-party mitigation projects or arrangements. Permittee-responsible mitigation may be approved provided the permittee submits verifiable documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the standards set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section have been met and the alternative means of compensatory mitigation will offset the permitted take to the degree that is compatible with the preservation of eagles.
(i) You may be required to monitor impacts to eagles from the permitted activity for up to 3 years after completion of the activity or as set forth in a separate management plan, as specified on your permit. For ongoing activities and enduring site features that will likely continue to cause take, periodic monitoring will be required for as long as the data are needed to assess impacts to eagles.
(ii) The frequency and duration of required monitoring will depend on the form and magnitude of the anticipated take and the objectives of associated avoidance, minimization, or other mitigation measures, not to exceed what is reasonable to meet the primary purpose of the monitoring, which is to provide data needed by the Service regarding the impacts of the activity on eagles for purposes of adaptive management. You must coordinate with the Service to develop project-specific monitoring protocols. If the Service has officially issued or endorsed, through rulemaking procedures, monitoring protocols for the activity that will take eagles, you must follow them, unless the Service waives this requirement. Your permit may require that the monitoring be conducted by qualified, independent third parties that report directly to the Service.
(3) You must submit an annual report summarizing the information you obtained through monitoring to the Service every year that your permit is valid and for up to 3 years after completion of the activity or termination of the permit, as specified in your permit. The Service will make eagle mortality information from annual reports available to the public.
(4) While the permit is valid and for up to 3 years after it expires, you must allow Service personnel, or other qualified persons designated by the Service, access to the areas where eagles are likely to be affected, at any reasonable hour, and with reasonable notice from the Service, for purposes of monitoring eagles at the site(s).
(5) The authorizations granted by permits issued under this section apply only to take that results from activities conducted in accordance with the description contained in the permit application and the terms of the permit. If the permitted activity changes after a permit is issued, you must immediately contact the Service to determine whether a permit amendment is required in order to retain take authorization.
(6) You must contact the Service immediately upon discovery of any unanticipated take.
(7)Additional conditions for permits with durations longer than 5 years -
(i)Monitoring. Monitoring to assess project impacts to eagles and the effectiveness of avoidance and minimization measures must be conducted by qualified, independent third parties, approved by the Service. Monitors must report directly to the Service and provide a copy of the reports and materials to the permittee.
(ii)Adaptive management. The permit will specify circumstances under which modifications to avoidance, minimization, or compensatory mitigation measures or monitoring protocols will be required, which may include, but are not limited to: Take levels, location of take, and changes in eagle use of the activity area. At a minimum, the permit must specify actions to be taken if take approaches or reaches the amount authorized and anticipated within a given time frame. Adaptive management terms in a permit will include review periods of no more than 5 years and may require prompt action(s) upon reaching specified conditions at any time during the review period.
(iii)Permit reviews. At no more than 5 years from the date a permit that exceeds 5 years is issued, and at least every 5 years thereafter, the permittee will compile, and submit to the Service, eagle fatality data or other pertinent information that is site-specific for the project, as required by the permit. The Service will review this information, as well as information provided directly to the Service by independent monitors, to determine whether:
(A) The permittee is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit and has implemented all applicable adaptive management measures specified in the permit; and
(B) Eagle take does not exceed the amount authorized to occur within the period of review.
(iv)Actions to be taken based on the permit review.
(A) In consultation with the permittee, the Service will update fatality predictions, authorized take levels and compensatory mitigation for future years, taking into account the observed levels of take based on approved protocols for monitoring and estimating total take, and, if applicable, accounting for changes in operations or permit conditions pursuant to the adaptive management measures specified in the permit or made pursuant to paragraphs (c)(7)(iv)(B) through (D) of this section.
(B) If authorized take levels for the period of review are exceeded in a manner or to a degree not addressed in the adaptive management conditions of the permit, based on the observed levels of take using approved protocols for monitoring and estimating total take, the Service may require additional actions including but not limited to:
(1) Adding, removing, or adjusting avoidance, minimization, or compensatory mitigation measures;
(2) Modifying adaptive management conditions;
(3) Modifying monitoring requirements; and
(4) Suspending or revoking the permit in accordance with part 13 of this subchapter B.
(C) If the observed levels of take, using approved protocols for monitoring and estimating total take, are below the authorized take levels for the period of review, the Service will proportionately revise the amount of compensatory mitigation required for the next period of review, including crediting excess compensatory mitigation already provided by applying it to the next period of review.
(D) Provided the permittee implements all required actions and remains compliant with the terms and conditions of the permit, no other action is required. However, with consent of the permittee, the Service may make additional changes to a permit, including appropriate modifications to avoidance and/or minimization measures or monitoring requirements. If measures are adopted that have been shown to be effective in reducing risk to eagles, appropriate adjustments will be made in fatality predictions, take estimates, and compensatory mitigation.
(v)Fees. For permits with terms longer than 5 years, an administration fee of $8,000 will be assessed every 5 years for permit review.
(8) The Service may amend, suspend, or revoke a permit issued under this section if new information indicates that revised permit conditions are necessary, or that suspension or revocation is necessary, to safeguard local or regional eagle populations. This provision is in addition to the general criteria for amendment, suspension, and revocation of Federal permits set forth in §§ 13.23, 13.27, and 13.28 of this chapter.
(9) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 13.26 of this chapter, you remain responsible for all outstanding monitoring requirements and mitigation measures required under the terms of the permit for take that occurs prior to cancellation, expiration, suspension, or revocation of the permit.
(10) You must promptly notify the Service of any eagle(s) found injured or dead at the activity site, regardless of whether the injury or death resulted from your activity. The Service will determine the disposition of such eagles.
(11) You are responsible for ensuring that the permitted activity is in compliance with all Federal, Tribal, State, and local laws and regulations applicable to eagles.
(d)Applying for an eagle take permit.
(1) You are advised to coordinate with the Service as early as possible for advice on whether a permit is needed and for technical assistance in assembling your permit application package. The Service may provide guidance on developing complete and adequate application materials and will determine when the application form and materials are ready for submission.
(2) Your application must consist of a completed application Form 3-200-71 and all required attachments. Send applications to the Regional Director of the Region in which the take would occur - Attention: Migratory Bird Permit Office. You can find the current addresses for the Regional Directors in § 2.2 of subchapter A of this chapter.
(3) Except as set forth in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, an applicant must coordinate with the Service to develop project-specific monitoring and survey protocols, take probability models, and any other applicable data quality standards, and include in the application all the data thereby obtained.
(i) If the Service has officially issued or endorsed, through rulemaking procedures, survey, modeling, or other data quality standards for the activity that will take eagles, you must follow them and include in your application all the data thereby obtained, unless the Service waives this requirement for your application.
(ii) Applications for eagle incidental take permits for wind facilities must include pre-construction eagle survey information collected according to the following standards, unless exceptional circumstances apply and survey requirements can be modified to accommodate those circumstances after consultation with, and written concurrence by, the Service:
(A) Surveys must consist of point-based recordings of bald eagle and golden eagle flight activity (minutes of flight) within a three-dimensional cylindrical plot (the sample plot). The radius of the sample plot is 2,625 feet (ft) (800 meters (m)), and the height above ground level must be either 656 ft (200 m) or 82 ft (25 m) above the maximum blade reach, whichever is greater.
(B) The duration of the survey for each visit to each sample plot must be at least 1 hour.
(C) Sampling must include at least 12 hours per sample plot per year for 2 or more years. Each sample plot must be sampled at least once per month, and the survey start time for a sampling period must be selected randomly from daylight hours, 1 unless the conditions in paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(F) of this section apply.
1 Daylight hours are defined as the hours between sunrise and sunset.
(D) Sampling design must be spatially representative of the project footprint, 2 and spatial coverage of sample plots must include at least 30 percent of the project footprint. Sample plot locations must be determined randomly, unless the conditions in paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(F) of this section apply.
2 The project footprint is the minimum-convex polygon that encompasses the wind-project area inclusive of the hazardous area around all turbines and any associated utility infrastructure, roads, etc.
(E) The permit application package must contain the following:
(1) Coordinates of each sample point in decimal degrees (specify projection/datum).
(2) The radius and height of each sample plot.
(3) The proportion of each three-dimensional sample plot that was observable from the sample point for each survey.
(4) Dates, times, and weather conditions for each survey, to include the time surveys at each sample point began and ended.
(5) Information for each survey on the number of eagles by species observed (both in flight and perched), and the amount of flight time (minutes) that each was in the sample plot area.
(6) The number of proposed turbines and their specifications, including brand/model, rotor diameter, hub height, and maximum blade reach (height), or the range of possible options.
(7) Coordinates of the proposed turbine locations in decimal degrees (specify projection/datum), including any alternate sites.
(F) Stratified-random sampling (a sample design that accounts for variation in eagle abundance by, for example, habitat, time of day, season) will often provide more robust, efficient sampling. Random sampling with respect to time of day, month, or project footprint can be waived if stratification is determined to be a preferable sampling strategy after consultation and approval in advance with the Service.
(iii) Application of the Service-endorsed data quality standards of paragraphs (d)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section may not be needed if:
(A) The Service has data of sufficient quality to predict the likely risk to eagles;
(B) Expediting the permit process will benefit eagles; or
(C) The Service determines the risk to eagles from the activity is low enough relative to the status of the eagle population based on:
(1) Physiographic and biological factors of the project site; or
(2) The project design (i.e., use of proven technology, micrositing, etc.).
(e)Evaluation of applications. In determining whether to issue a permit, we will evaluate:
(1) Whether take is likely to occur based on the magnitude and nature of the impacts of the activity.
(2) Whether the take is:
(i) Compatible with the preservation of the bald eagle and the golden eagle, including consideration of indirect effects and the cumulative effects of other permitted take and other additional factors affecting eagle populations;
(ii) Associated with the permanent loss of an important eagle use area;
(iii) Necessary to protect a legitimate interest in a particular locality; and
(iv) Associated with, but not the purpose of, the activity.
(6) Whether the applicant has proposed compensatory mitigation measures that comply with standards set forth under paragraph (c)(1) of this section to compensate for remaining unavoidable impacts after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization measures have been applied.
(7) Whether issuing the permit would preclude the Service from authorizing another take necessary to protect an interest of higher priority, according to the following prioritization order:
(i) Safety emergencies;
(ii) Increased need for traditionally practiced Native American tribal religious use that requires taking eagles from the wild;
(iii) Non-emergency activities necessary to ensure public health and safety; and
(iv) Other interests.
(8) For projects that are already operational and have taken eagles without a permit, whether such past unpermitted eagle take has been resolved or is in the process of resolution with the Office of Law Enforcement through settlement or other appropriate means.
(9) Any additional factors that may be relevant to our decision whether to issue the permit, including, but not limited to, the cultural significance of a local eagle population.
(f)Required determinations. Before we issue a permit, we must find that:
(1) The direct and indirect effects of the take and required mitigation, together with the cumulative effects of other permitted take and additional factors affecting the eagle populations within the eagle management unit and the local area population, are compatible with the preservation of bald eagles and golden eagles.
(2) The taking is necessary to protect an interest in a particular locality.
(3) The taking is associated with, but not the purpose of, the activity.
(4) The applicant has applied all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization measures to reduce impacts to eagles.
(5) The applicant has applied all appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation measures, when required, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, to compensate for remaining unavoidable impacts after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization measures have been applied.
(6) Issuance of the permit will not preclude issuance of another permit necessary to protect an interest of higher priority as set forth in paragraph (e)(7) of this section.
(g) We may deny issuance of a permit if we determine that take is not likely to occur.
(h)Permit duration. The duration of each permit issued under this section will be designated on its face and will be based on the duration of the proposed activities, the period of time for which take will occur, the level of impacts to eagles, and the nature and extent of mitigation measures incorporated into the terms and conditions of the permit. A permit for incidental take will not exceed 30 years.
(i) Applicants for eagle incidental take permits who submit a completed permit application by July 14, 2017 may elect to apply for coverage under the regulations that were in effect prior to January 17, 2017 provided that the permit application satisfies the permit application requirements of the regulations in effect prior to January 17, 2017. If the Service issues a permit to such applicants, all of the provisions and conditions of the regulations that were in effect prior to January 17, 2017 will apply.