EnviroScience’s mussel survey season is well underway. Below are a few regulatory updates on freshwater mussels.
Round Hickorynut & Longsolid Proposed Listing
The Round Hickorynut (Obovaria subrotunda) and Longsolid (Fusconaia subrotunda) mussels will be listed by the USFWS as federally threatened in the near future. The proposed ruling also lists critical habitat for both species in several states, including AL, KY, PA, TN, VA, and WV for the Longsolid and AL, IN, KY, MS, OH, PA, TN, WV for the Round Hickorynut. The ruling will alter designations for some streams. The Purple Lilliput was considered for listing but was found not to be warranted at the time of the review.
The proposed listing of these species can complicate a project’s timeline since previous coordination with state and federal agencies may not cover a permittee once a species is federally listed. EnviroScience has the tools and experience needed to assist permittees through the consultation process. Early coordination is highly recommended to prevent project delays if a proposed-listed species is potentially present in a project area.
New York State Freshwater Mussel Survey Guidelines
In April 2021, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) issued freshwater mussel survey guidelines for waterbody disturbance projects. Survey methods are similar to those required in OH and WV and apply to natural resource general permits and joint permit applications. The guidelines establish standardized survey methods; however, project sponsors should coordinate with the NYDEC before developing a mussel survey plan and collection license application. Early coordination is highly recommended for NY projects with potential mussel stream impacts.