According to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, the Northern Long-eared Bat is listed as Endangered and protected under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. This population of bat has been devastated by the spread of White-nose Syndrome, a type of fungus found in caves that grows over the bat during hibernation, causing them to periodically wake from hibernation, lose valuable stored fat, and fail to survive the winter.
While the delineation of most endangered species’ habitats are limited to certain areas like low lands, marshes, fields, etc, the critical habitat for the Northern Long-eared Bat is the entire state. As a result, when using the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) “Information, Planning, and Consultation” (IPaC) mapping system to delineate your stormwater action area, the Northern Long-eared Bat will show up. According to the instructions in Appendix E of the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP), “if you have determined that there are, or may be listed, species and/or designated critical habitat in your action area, you are not eligible under Criterion A and must complete the Criterion C Eligibility Form 30 days prior to submitting your NOI for permit coverage.” Therefore, all Massachusetts Notice Of Intent (NOI) filers under the MSGP would need to submit the Criterion C Eligibility Form by August 3, 2015.
In conversations with the EPA, this is not what they had intended. According to the EPA, they are working with FWS to develop additional guidance for filers to use when making a Criterion A or Criterion C determination. Stay tuned. As soon as CAPACCIO has more information on this guidance, we will be sure to share it.
For more information about the MSGP, check the home page of our website www.capaccio.com where we have a Stormwater Information page which includes numerous resources like recorded webinars, presentation slides, and frequently asked questions regarding the MSGP. Feel free to submit a question through our Ask The Experts button on the home page of our website if you have any further questions.
More information about the Northern Long-Eared Bat is available at this link; http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/nhesp/species-and-conservation/nhfacts/myotis-septentrionalis.pdf