Federal Agency Approves Approves Lower Colorado River Authority Plan to Conserve More than 20 Species
Earlier this year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Transmission Services Corporation’s (LCRA TSC) Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and associated Incidental Take Permit (ITP). The HCP is designed to minimize potential impacts of power transmission line construction and maintenance across 241 Texas counties on 22 federally endangered species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and a mammal, and one unlisted lizard species.
LCRA TSC’s plan takes a programmatic approach to Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance, maximizing conservation benefits for species while streamlining the permitting process and providing regulatory assurances. The HCP describes the measures LCRA TSC will take to minimize and mitigate the impacts on endangered and threatened species from activities related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of existing and future electric transmission facilities. Additional conservation actions contained in the HCP include land preservation, staff training, conservation banks, habitat improvement, and revegetation and restoration of disturbed areas. The HCP and ITP will be in effect for 30 years.
LCRA TSC is a significant electricity provider in Texas. Their projects provide power to millions of Texas residents and businesses. Under the ESA, the Service has developed a number of tools, such as the proposed LCRA TSC HCP that provide businesses, landowners and state and local governments with the ability to continue their activities while ensuring the protection of species listed under the ESA.