USFWS Perspectives on ESA Consultation

USFWS Perspectives on Hydro
ESA Consultation
Strategies for Effective, Timely Section 7
Doug Young
Energy Program Manager, FWS, Oregon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pacific Region
FWS Hydro ESA Issues in NW
Fish and critical habitat:
• bull trout
• (Pacific lamprey)
Wildlife and plants and
critical habitat :
• Northern spotted owl
Pending FERC Applications
in NW
Original Licenses:
• 5 in Idaho, 4 in Washington, 6 in Oregon
• 9 ILP, 6 TLP
• Limited complex ESA section 7 consultations
• Many go away before ESA
• 1 in Idaho, 2 in Washington, 3 in Oregon
• 3 ILP, 3 TLP
• Complex ESA consultations likely…
When ESA (and other)
complexity is anticipated…
• Get started early with good planning, team
building, studies and communication (informal)
• Make your choice: ILP or TLP
• But make informed choice!
Integrated Licensing Process
• Faster
• More FERC involvement
• Might be able to build some collaboration into rapid,
intense process
• Challenging timeframes and milestones are disincentive
for collaborative engagement – and FWS has limited staff
capacity to achieve ILP and collaborative process
• Higher likelihood of applying other FPA authorities if the
ESA Proposed Action doesn’t meet expectations = less
certainty of outcome
• Lost opportunities to reach “elegant solutions”
Benefits of TLP Collaboration:
Examples from Oregon
• “Mutual interests lead to solutions that otherwise are
foregone” Julie Keil, PGE
• Looked at entire project, not piecemeal
• Investments focused in best locations
• Modeling and studies to determine iteratively when
compliance is reached
• Regulatory agencies not forced into using all regulatory
Willamette Falls:
• Negotiated performance-based survival criteria
• Avoided multiple, extremely costly screens
• Ask FERC to be the Nonfederal Representative for ESA
• Use TLP, or a more collaborative version of ILP
• Collaborate: engage early, communicate, frontload, build
mutual interests, share risk
• Seek agreements that satisfy ESA as well as FPA (4e, 10j,
• Understand that FWS doesn’t have too many bodies –
engagement where project appears viable, process is
collaborative, conservation opportunities exist
• Consider providing 3rd party contractor support
Will it be J.A.M or Collaboration?