The Regional Road Maintenance Program improves roadway safety while safely maintaining our highways and following the Endangered Species Act.
In January 2002, twenty-four Washington State agencies (including WSDOT) formally submitted a joint routine road maintenance program to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) for approval under Limit 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 4(d) rule. The Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program Guidelines (Regional Program) describes physical, structural, and managerial best management practices designed so that when they are used, singularly or in combination, they reduce road maintenance activitiesâ€™ impacts on water and habitat.
The Federal action of approving the Regional Program under Limit 10 required environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to meet NOAA Fisheriesâ€™ environmental documentation requirements under NEPA. In addition, a Sequential EA was developed to more specifically evaluate the environmental consequences associated with the Regional Program. The Sequential EA analysis evaluated various alternatives to the Regional Program and also determined what possible direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on the human environment may occur by approving a Limit 10 submittal from agencies within the State of Washington
Currently there are 37 agencies who have received a Biological Opinion from NOAA and participate in in the Regional Road Maintenance Forum.
The Regional Forum will provide a regional meeting in which information and experiences can be shared to improve the Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program. Each agency seeking a limit, reduction, or elimination of the take prohibition by means of this Regional Program, will participate in the Regional Forum. The role of the Regional Forum is the sharing of information. Participating agencies will report to the Regional Forum experiences in program implementation, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Hands-on crew experiences with various BMPs under various conditions.
- Discovery of new products or BMP inventions and applications.
- Results of scientific research and case studies.
- Feedback on training
Newsletter: Regional Road Maintenance Program Endangered Species Act Program
Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program Guidelines Newsletter, Sept. 2019, Volume 15, Issue 4 (19 page PDF)