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22 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Summary of Fact Sheet 5: Aquatic Life and Habitat The category "aquatic life and habitat" encompasses the impacts of airport development projects on the aquatic organisms and their habitats. This includes plants, animals, fish, microorganisms, and so forth associated with or dependent upon water resources or the immediate surrounding area; federally threatened and endangered species; and state-protected species and habitat. While most of the regulations associated with aquatic life and habitat are federal, protected species are listed under both federal and individual state regulatory requirements. The principal federal regulations governing aquatic species and their habitats are associated with the Endan- gered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Section 7 of the ESA requires federal agencies to conduct con- sultations to ensure that federal actions that are authorized, funded, or carried out are not likely to jeopardize listed species or result in destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitats. Compliance with the ESA is typically administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (MSFCMA) is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. Compliance with the MSFCMA is administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). NMFS also enforces Section 7 ESA requirements for marine and anadromous fish species, marine animals, and critical habitats for those organisms. Airport development projects may require the physical removal of aquatic species or habitat. Species and habitats can also be affected through secondary effects associated with ongoing oper- ations such as changes in discharges of storm water or treated wastewater. To satisfy the ESA and MSFCMA, as part of the NEPA process, a review must be conducted to determine whether a pro- posed action would affect a listed species or crucial habitat. This requires consultation between the lead NEPA agency and the agencies administering compliance. Project planning and design considerations typically associated with aquatic life and habitat issues include the following: Are there designated crucial habitats on the project site? Will storm water or other waters discharge from the site into protected habitats or areas poten- tially containing protected species? Which agencies administer compliance with the regulations? How will the airport operator coordinate with the NEPA lead agency and the consulting agencies? What information is required by the agencies to provide approval for the requested activities? How long will it take to acquire the required information and what is the expected timeframe for agency response? The process for assessing core regulatory requirements, determining the measures needed for compliance, and reducing the effects of managing aquatic life and habitat issues on the develop- ment project are presented in Fact Sheet 5 in Appendix B. A summary of the guidance for reduc- ing those project impacts follows.

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Handbook Overview 23 Guidance for Reducing Project Impacts from Managing Issues Associated with Aquatic Life and Habitat Data Collection Perform consultation early in the Detailed Plan- ning Phase to identify potential aquatic life or habitat issues. Adequately delineate protected species habitat, including downstream areas of the project. Storm Water Management Consider the need for storm water controls for projects to minimize impacts to downstream aquatic life or habitat. Design Implementation Relocate the project to avoid impacts to aquatic life and Control Siting or habitat or provide alternatives that minimize impacts. Permit Acquisition or Obtain information or perform site assessments in Approvals association with other permitting or approvals that may be needed. Construction Consider the possibility that controls and mitigation for other water resource issues (e.g., detention basins) could lead to impacts to existing species or habitats. Stakeholder Coordination Coordinate with regulators early to discuss poten- tial documentation requirements and schedule. Mitigation Identify options to mitigate impacts and propose to agency for concurrence.