There are a number of federal and state agencies that, while they do not have primary regulatory authority, are involved in regulatory decisions. These agencies provide special perspectives on habitat and historic values at risk from wetlands disturbing activities. Any of these agencies, with sufficient concern, can “elevate” a USACE regulatory decision to the US Army headquarters for review.
Federal Resource Agencies
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA oversees compliance with federal environmental laws. The Agency provides advice and recommendations to the Corps of Engineers to ensure that all authorized projects avoid and minimize adverse environmental impacts.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The purpose of USFWS is to conserve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats and to protect public trust rights of use and enjoyment associated with waters of the United States. The Service provides advice and recommendations to the Corps of Engineers to ensure that all authorized projects are the least environmentally damaging alternative and in the public’s interest in safeguarding fish and wildlife resources from unnecessary loss and degradation. The Service is also responsible for assisting the Corps to meet their responsibilities under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
National Marine Fisheries Service
The mission of NMFS is to rebuild and maintain sustainable fisheries, promote the recovery of protected species and protect and maintain the health of coastal marine habitats. The Service provides advice and recommendations to the Corps of Engineers, especially regarding protection of Essential Fish Habitat.
President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The President’s Council on Historic Preservation provides comments to the Corps of Engineers on undertakings that affect historic properties.
State Resource Agencies
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
DGIF is the primary wildlife and freshwater management agency in the Commonwealth, and has legal jurisdiction over state or federally endangered or threatened species, excluding insects and plants. VDGIF provides environmental analysis of projects or permit applications coordinated through VMRC, DEQ and the Corps of Engineers. The department determines likely impacts on fish and wildlife resources and habitats and recommends appropriate measures to avoid, reduce, or mitigate for those impacts.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
The Wetlands Advisory Program of VIMS provides scientific and technical advice for the use of all participants in the shoreline permit process. The CCRM has a number of decision tools to help guide regulators and homeowners.
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
The Department represents the interests of the Commonwealth and its citizens in preserving Virginia’s cultural heritage. VDHR assists the Corps of Engineers with identifying historic properties assessing effects upon them and considering alternatives to reduce, avoid or mitigate a project’s impact on historic resources.