50 CFR 402.46 - Optional formal consultation procedure for FIFRA actions.
(a) Initiation of consultation. EPA may initiate consultation on a FIFRA action under this section by delivering to the Service a written request for consultation. The written request shall be accompanied by an effects determination as defined in § 402.40(b) and a list or summary of all references and data relied upon in the determination. All such references and data shall be made available to the Service on request and shall constitute part of the Service's administrative record for the consultation. The time for conclusion of the consultation under section 7(b)(1) of the Act is calculated from the date the Service receives the written request from EPA. Any subsequent interchanges regarding EPA's submission, including interchanges about the completeness of the effects determination, shall occur during consultation and do not extend the time for conclusion of the consultation unless EPA withdraws the request for consultation.
(b) Additional information determination. For an effects determination prepared without advance coordination under § 402.44, the Service may determine that additional available information would provide a better information base for the effects determination, in which case the Service Director shall notify the EPA Administrator within 45 days of the date the Service receives the effects determination. The notification shall describe such additional information in detail, and shall identify a means for obtaining that information within the time period available for consultation. EPA shall provide a copy of the Service Director's notification to any applicant. EPA may thereafter revise its effects determination, and may resubmit the revised effects determination to the Service. If EPA advises the Service it will not resubmit a revised effects determination to the Service, its initiation of consultation on the effects determination is deemed withdrawn.
(c) Service responsibilities.
(1) Within the later of 90 days of the date the Service receives EPA's written request for consultation or 45 days of the date the Service receives an effects determination resubmitted under paragraph (b) of this section, and consistent with section 7(b)(1) of the Act, the Service shall take one of the following actions:
(i) If the Service finds that the effects determination contains the information required by § 402.40(b) and satisfies the requirements of section 7(b)(4) of the Act, and the Service concludes that the FIFRA action that is the subject of the consultation complies with section 7(a)(2) of the Act, the Service will issue a written statement adopting the effects determination; or
(ii) The Service will provide EPA a draft of a written statement modifying the effects determination, which shall meet the requirements of § 402.14(i), and as modified adopting the effects determination, and shall provide a detailed explanation of the scientific and commercial data and rationale supporting any modification it makes; or
(iii) The Service will provide EPA a draft of a biological opinion finding that the FIFRA action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat, and describing any reasonable and prudent alternatives if available.
(2) If the Service acts under paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) or (c)(1)(iii) of this section, EPA shall, on request from an applicant, provide the applicant a copy of the draft written statement or draft biological opinion received from the Service. The Service shall at the request of EPA or an applicant discuss with EPA and the applicant the Service's review and evaluation under this section, and the basis for its findings. EPA and any applicant may submit written comments to the Service within 30 days after EPA receives the draft written statement or opinion from the Service unless the Service, EPA and any applicant agree to an extended deadline consistent with section 7(b)(1) of the Act.
(3) The Service will issue a final written statement or final biological opinion within 45 days after EPA receives the draft statement or opinion from the Service unless the deadline is extended under section 7(b)(1) of the Act.
(d) Opinion of the Secretary. The written statement or opinion by the Service under paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(3) of this section shall constitute the opinion of the Secretary and the incidental take statement, reasonable and prudent measures, and terms and conditions under section 7(b) of the Act.
(e) Delegation of Authority for Service decisions. Any written statement modifying an effects determination or any biological opinion issued under this section shall be signed by the Service Director and such authority may not be delegated below the level of Assistant Director for Endangered Species (FWS) or Director of Office of Protected Resources (NOAA Fisheries).