[MARMAM] Section 7 Information Consultation Services

Andrew Bill andrew.bill at saltwaterinc.com
Fri Aug 30 13:14:05 PDT 2019


Saltwater Inc is seeking a Section 7 Information Consultant to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Regional Office (SERO), Protected Resources Division (PRD).                   


 

Background

The NMFS SERO is responsible for the management, conservation, and protection of living marine, estuarine, and anadromous species and their habitats found in the eight coastal states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SERO PRD administers the Region’s responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are 32 ESA-listed species in the Southeast Region, including sea turtles, whales, fish, corals, and seagrass. Twelve of these species have designated critical habitat in the Southeast.

The single largest task carried out by SERO PRD is administering Section 7 of the ESA, consulting with federal agencies to conserve listed species and critical habitat during project development and implementation. Section 7 consultation is required when an action authorized, funded, or carried out by a federal action agency may affect a listed species or designated critical habitat. Informal consultation can be completed if the action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, listed species and critical habitat. An action is not likely to adversely affect ESA resources when all effects to listed species or critical habitat are expected to be insignificant (not able to be meaningfully measured), discountable (extremely unlikely to occur), or wholly beneficial (strictly positive effects). Informal consultation is only initiated when NMFS has all of the information necessary to fully evaluate the action and its effects to ESA resources. Informal consultation is concluded when NMFS issues its Letter of Concurrence (LOC) to the action agency. If an action is likely to adversely affect listed species or critical habitat, formal consultation is required.

Location: Work will be conducted offsite (i.e. telework), and travel is expected.

Salary and Benefit: This is a full-time position. Salary commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package.

Duties

·      Attend a kick-off meeting in St. Petersburg, FL

o   Meet the PRD Project Lead

o   Review available Section 7 resources (templates, checklists, guidance, examples, and information sources) provided by the PRD Project Lead

o   Discuss SERO’s informal Section 7 process with the PRD Project Lead and ask clarifying questions

·      When an informal Section 7 consultation request is received, the Contractor shall review the request package for completeness

o   The Contractor shall be assigned 27 consultation requests over the period of performance.

o   The contractor shall determine completeness of consultation request packages using the Section 7 resources provided by the PRD Project Lead and any other relevant information sources that may be relevant to the consultation

o    If the consultation request package is deemed complete, notify the PRD Project Lead that consultation is initiated

·      Draft a Request for Additional Information (RAI) if the consultation request is deemed incomplete, asking for only the information necessary to initiate consultation

o   The Contractor shall draft an RAI and submit it to the federal action agency via email informing them that the consultation request package is incomplete

o   The Contractor shall include standard language in their RAI that if the federal action agency has not responded within 45 days, the consultation request will be withdrawn by NMFS

o   The Contractor shall send a reminder to the federal action agency that their 45-day response deadline is approaching, if necessary

o   The Contractor shall alert the PRD Project Lead that the consultation request should be withdrawn, if necessary

o   The Contractor shall copy the PRD Project Lead on all correspondence with the federal action agency

o   The Contractor shall document all phone calls with a federal action agency by sending a follow-up email to the federal action agency, copying the PRD Project Lead. The Contractor shall provide the PRD Project Lead with a phone log that includes the project identifying number, the date of the phone call, who they talked to, and the general topic(s) discussed

·      Review the federal action agency’s RAI response

o   The Contractor shall determine whether the federal action agency’s response contains the remaining information needed to initiate consultation

o   The Contractor shall draft additional RAI's, if necessary, repeating Task 3 above

o   Once all requested information is received from the federal action agency, alert the PRD Project Lead that consultation is initiated

·      Confirm the action agency’s effect determination

o   The Contractor shall determine whether the federal action agency’s effect determination is accurate.

o   If the determination is not Likely to Adversely Affect (LAA), the Contractor shall alert the PRD Project Lead, that the consultation is LAA. The consultation will be returned to the PRD Project Lead for reassignment to NMFS/SERO/PRD Staff.

·      Draft 22 LOCs and submit for review (based on the expected numbers of consultations not withdrawn or determined to be LAA)

o   The Contractor shall draft LOCs using

§  the available Section 7 resources provided by the PRD Project Lead (templates, checklists, guidance, examples, and information sources)

§  information received from the federal action agency

§  any additional relevant information obtained by the Contractor

o   The Contractor shall submit any remaining correspondence and any additional documentation used to complete the consultation, from the federal action agency or obtained by the Contractor, to the PRD Project Lead when the draft LOC is submitted for review

·      Address PRD Project Lead comments on draft LOCs

o   The PRD Project Lead will provide comments to the Contractor within 3 weeks of receipt of the draft LOC

o   The contractor shall address all comments provided on the draft LOC and resubmit to the PRD Project Lead

o   The contractor shall contact the PRD Project Lead if clarification on the comments is needed

o   The contractor shall respond to additional comments from the PRD Project Lead, if necessary, repeating the steps above

·      The contractor shall close-out the consultation by sending any remaining correspondence and any additional documentation used to complete the consultation, from the federal action agency or obtained by the contractor, to the PRD Project Lead

·      The contractor shall delete all project files and correspondence from the contractor’s computer upon project completion. The Contractor will provide the PRD Project Lead with a deletion log that includes the project identifying number, the files (file type and filename) deleted, and the date of deletion.

 Other Duties

·      When assigned an informal Section 7 consultation request, review the request package for completeness

·      Draft a Request for Additional Information (RAI) if the consultation request is deemed incomplete, asking for only the information necessary to initiate consultation

·      Review the federal action agency’s RAI response

·      Confirm the action agency’s effect determination

·      Draft an LOC and submit for review

·      Address PRD Project Lead comments on draft LOCs

·      Removal of all project files and correspondence from the Contractor’s computer upon notification by the PRD Project Lead of project completion, withdrawal, or return of a LAA consultation.

·      Monthly progress report to include, but not necessarily be limited to, status of all consultations, issues encountered, interactions with action agencies, recommendations, if applicable

 

 Required Minimum Knowledge and Experience

·      Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in an environmental science or associated discipline (e.g., biology, ecology, fisheries biology, marine biology, natural resource management, conservation biology, landscape ecology, or restoration ecology)

·      Demonstrated knowledge and experience with Section 7 consultations requirements of the ESA

·      Demonstrated knowledge of SERO’s ESA-listed species and their habitats

·      Strong understanding of the coastal and marine ecology of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and U.S. Caribbean

·      Critical thinking and the ability to assess potential impacts to ESA resources associated with coastal and marine activities (e.g., dredging, construction, restoration, military operations)

·      Proficient with common databases and office productivity programs, such as Word, Excel, Gmail, Google docs, and Endnote

·      Strong organizational skills with ability to work independently and comply with project deadlines

·      Strong communication skills and the ability to work well with others, including a diverse array of federal action agencies

·      Strong professional writing skills and the ability to express both biological and regulatory concepts in plain language

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to:  Stacey Hansen @ stacey.hansen at saltwaterinc.com <mailto:stacey.hansen at saltwaterinc.com>
Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply. When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

Applicants should submit a resume that includes the following:

Cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
Education.
Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
Three professional references.  
Include your name in the document file name.
Upload your resume in readable, not scanned, PDF or Word format (PDF is preferred).  
In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire, and successfully complete a federal government background check.  Saltwater Inc is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law.    




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