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E-mails and Memos

    June 14, 2013
    ESA Guidance
    Attached is legal guidance relating to the Corps' implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This guidance has been coordinated with and cleared by the Director of Civil Works, and should be implemented immediately. I also understand the Director of Civil Works plans to distribute this guidance to Corps non-counsel staff who implement the ESA as part of the Civil Works program. With that in mind, feel free to share the attached guidance with your clients and colleagues (both counsel and non-counsel) who work with you to implement the ESA in your division or district.

    In recent years it has become clear that the Corps' implementation of the ESA has been consuming a large and increasing share of our limited Civil Works budget. I believe that some of that increase can be attributed to an overbroad application of the ESA. The Corps has always taken its legal responsibilities under the ESA seriously; however, we must be careful that the ESA is not interpreted in a way that generates large-scale "environmental restoration" projects that Congress has not authorized and that are not the responsibility of the Corps to implement. The attached legal guidance should assist you in proper interpretation and application of the ESA.

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