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Environmental Services

Projects and Permits We Review

DWR is Virginia’s wildlife (including freshwater) management agency and exercises law enforcement and regulatory jurisdiction over these resources, including state or federally Endangered or Threatened species, but excluding listed insects. We are a consulting agency under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (48 Stat. 401, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), and we provide environmental analysis of projects or permit applications coordinated through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other state or federal agencies. Our role in these procedures is to determine likely impacts upon wildlife resources and habitats, and to recommend appropriate measures to avoid, reduce, or compensate for those impacts.

Private Citizens, Consultants, and Landowners

DWR’s Environmental Services (ES) staff does not review projects until such a time that they are involved in one of the regulatory processes to which we are a consulting agency, as depicted above. If you are a private landowner, consultant, or citizen looking for information about Virginia’s wildlife for preparation of a project environmental analysis or in advance of applying for a local, state, or federal environmental permit, we recommend that you conduct a preliminary desktop analysis by accessing our online information system, the Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service (VAFWIS) and using the Geographic Search function to generate an Initial Project Assessment (IPA).

Preliminary analyses may include the following actions:

  1. Access VAFWIS: If you are not already a VAFWIS subscriber, you should request to become one by emailing a request to VAFWIS_support@dwr.virginia.gov. VAFWIS subscriptions are free of charge. A subscriber is able to generate an IPA for the project area (project site plus a minimum two mile buffer) which generates a list of imperiled wildlife and designated wildlife resources known from the project area. You may also access VAFWIS as a visitor, but access to data and mapping at that user level is restricted.Alternatively, you may contact our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator, Jay Kapalczynski, at jay.kapalczynski@dwr.virginia.gov to request access to the Wildlife Mapping and Environmental Review Map Service (WERMS) that allows you to download GIS data into your own system.
  2. Access information about the location of bat hibernacula and roosts from the following locations:
  3. Access up-to-date information about the location and status of bald eagle nests in Virginia by accessing the Center for Conservation Biology’s Eagle Nest Locator.
  4. Review the DWR information, guidance, and protocols available on our website at the bottom of this page in the Additional Resources section and implement, as appropriate.
  5. Include the results of your desktop analysis with your project documents, applications, etc.

Federal and State Agencies, Permit Writers, and NGO Conservation Partners

DWR’s ES staff review the following permit, project, and plan types:

  1. Permit applications: Joint permit Applications (JPAs), VPDES permits (VDEQ)*, VWP permits (VDEQ), Small Renewable Energy Facility permits-by-rule (PBRs)*, FERC license applications*, SCC applications
  2. Environmental documents: Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), other NEPA documents, Federal Consistency Determinations (CZM), Endangered Species Act Sect 7 reviews for selected state or federal agency projects
  3. Proposed state or federal legislation or regulations
  4. Federal land and wildlife management plans for parks, refuges, forests, and DOD lands
  5. VDOT projects and locality administered transportation projects*
  6. VDCR Recreational Grant Project Reviews: Land and Water Conservation Fund projects & Recreational Trails Program projects*
  7. Miscellaneous projects: Landowner Incentive Program projects; projects proposed on or adjacent to VDGIF Wildlife Management Areas, boat ramps, public fishing lakes, or hatcheries; gypsy moth spray blocks, etc.

For DWR to review the project/permit applications, the following information needs to be submitted, at minimum:

  • Project Description
  • Topographic map depicting the project boundaries • Lat/long coordinates for the project centroid
  • Submittal of the following additional information is encouraged and will facilitate more timely review:
  • A VAFWIS Initial Project Assessment for the project (see above), a map depicting all streams or wetlands, and description of anticipated temporary or permanent project impacts • Pictures of the project site and proposed impact areas
  • Total acreage of timbering/deforestation/ground clearing
  • A shapefile of the project location (particularly for large or linear projects)

For projects requiring numerous stream impacts, we recommend that you additionally provide a stream crossing table that includes the following information:

  • Lat/long coordinates for each crossing site
  • Name of stream being crossed
  • Type of stream being crossed (perennial, intermittent)
  • Description of the substrate in the stream at each crossing
  • Depth and width of stream at crossing
  • Pictures of each crossing site (including upstream and downstream photos) • A map depicting each crossing site, referenced to the stream crossing table

Agencies seeking DWR review of projects, permits, and policies should submit the appropriate documentation to:

Electronic submission (email):

Hardcopy:

  • Frances Greenway, DWR Wildlife Information and Environmental Services, P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228 FAX: 804-367-2427

Additional Resources

Please refer to these additional resources that may help you develop your proposal or project.

Review Disclaimer

If WIES is unable to respond to your project within the timeframe you request, or if you receive no response, this does not constitute endorsement of your project or a lack of concern regarding anticipated project impacts. It simply means that DWR has not been able to respond to your request given our workload and other program responsibilities.

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