Volume 25, Number 2 ● February 6, 2017
In This Issue:
Potential Project Delays from Regulatory Freeze
To reduce the regulatory burden on our economy, Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff issued a Memorandum: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review. Unless the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) grants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) an exclusion from the recently published new Nationwide Permits (NWPs), they could be delayed (see our previous Field Notes article) – which will cause a gap in the availability of NWPs since the current program expires on March 18, 2017.
Draft Norfolk District Nationwide Permit Regional Conditions Released
On January 24, 2017, the draft Norfolk District Nationwide Permit (NWP) Regional Conditions were released for public comment. Comments on the Regional Conditions are due by February 21, 2017. The 2017 Nationwide Permits are intended to take effect on March 19, 2017 and will expire March 18, 2022.
"Bee" Alert! Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Listed as Endangered
On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued their Final Rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered. This listing could affect some projects and activities in Virginia and Maryland on sites near known populations of the bumble bee. Note that all landowners are expected to comply with the Endangered Species Act, regardless of whether or not they are conducting an activity that requires a federal action (such as a wetlands permit). This listing is effective as of February 10, 2017. At this time, the listing has not officially been delayed by the Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.
Bald and Golden Eagle Rule Finalized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - What It Means For You
The bald eagle breeding season began on December 15 and will continue until July 15 in Virginia and Maryland. The start of the breeding season is a reminder that, when present, active bald eagle nests carry a restriction of allowable activities within the vicinity of the nest. In addition, the USFWS published the Final Rule for the Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take Permit and the Take of Eagle Nests (Final Rule), which revises the 2009 regulations published for the issuance of permits for “incidental take” of bald and golden eagles. This Final Rule was effective January 17, 2017.
If you are planning to develop land that contains bald eagle habitat, you need to be aware of the federal and state regulations providing protection for these birds.
Working in Maryland Streams? Be Aware of Time of Year Restrictions!
Instream work restrictions apply to every waterway in Maryland, and many take effect March 1. Inspectors from the Maryland Department of the Environment will visit job sites to ensure that instream work is not occurring during the restriction period, and will shut down work on those projects that are in violation. Avoid costly delays by planning your instream work around the restriction period. Before beginning construction, be aware of your stream use classification and associated time of year restriction (TOYR) period, which is listed as a condition on your state wetland permit.
WSSI Staff Receive County and Builder Awards
WSSI won two awards in January. On the 27th, Fairfax County presented WSSI with a Land Conservation Award for the Wakefield Park Stream Restoration design and construction oversight and support. The next day the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) recognized Mike Rolband and WSSI as Associate of the Year for 25 years of dedicated service and commitment to the organization.
7th Annual Reston Kids' Trout Fishing Day - Right Around the Corner
On Saturday, March 18, 2017, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI), along with Reston Association (RA), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited (NVATU), and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia will sponsor the 7th Annual Reston Kids’ Trout Fishing Day.
WSSI Email Extension Changes; Everything Else Stays the Same
You may have noticed that emails from WSSI staff are now sporting an "@wetlands.com" extension. We hope this makes communication with us even easier. You can still use @wetlandstudies.com if you prefer; both will reach us.