Environmental Services Section

Ray Fernald, Manager
(804) 367-8364 or Ray.Fernald@dgif.virginia.gov

Amy Ewing, Biologist
(804) 367-2211 or Amy.Ewing@dgif.virginia.gov

Ernie Aschenbach, Biologist
(804) 367-2733 or Ernie.Aschenbach@dgif.virginia.gov

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), as the Commonwealth’s wildlife and freshwater fish management agency, exercises law enforcement and regulatory jurisdiction over those resources, inclusive of State or Federally Endangered or Threatened species, but excluding listed insects. We are a consulting agency under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (48 Stat. 401, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), and we provide environmental analysis of projects or permit applications coordinated through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other state or federal agencies. Our role in these procedures is to determine likely impacts upon fish and wildlife resources and habitats, and to recommend appropriate measures to avoid, reduce, or compensate for those impacts.

Project and Permit Review Process

VDGIF’s Environmental Services Section (ESS) coordinates the Department’s review of proposed permits, projects, and policies to evaluate potential impacts they may have upon the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources or VDGIF lands, programs, and facilities. Such reviews may include:

  • Permit applications
    • Joint “dredge-and-fill” permits (i.e., JPAs) (VMRC/VDEQ/ACOE)
    • VPDES permits (VDEQ)
    • VWPP permits (VDEQ)
    • Small Renewable Energy Facility permits-by-rule (PBRs)
  • FERC license applications and SCC applications
  • Environmental documents
    • Environmental Impact Reports
    • Environmental Impact Statements
    • Environmental Assessments
    • Other NEPA documents
    • Coastal Consistency Determinations
    • Section 7 (Endangered Species Act) reviews for selected state or federal agency projects only
  • Proposed state or federal legislation or regulations
  • Federal land and wildlife management plans for parks, refuges, forests, and DOD lands
  • Miscellaneous projects such as Landowner Incentive Program projects; projects proposed on or adjacent to VDGIF Wildlife Management Areas, boat ramps, public fishing lakes, or hatcheries; gypsy moth spray blocks, etc.
  • VDOT projects and locality administered transportation projects*
  • VDCR Recreational Grant Project Reviews: Land and Water Conservation Fund projects & Recreational Trails Program projects*

*these projects should be submitted electronically to ProjectReview@dgif.virginia.gov

Agencies seeking VDGIF review of such projects, permits, and policies (other than VDOT projects and locality administered transportation projects) should submit the appropriate documentation to VDGIF Environmental Services Section via email to ESSProjects@dgif.virginia.gov, via hardcopy to P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228; or via fax to 804-367-2628. To review the project, the following information needs to be submitted, at minimum:

  • Project Description
  • Topographic map depicting the project boundaries
  • Lat/long coordinates for the project centroid

Additional information usually is required to facilitate project review; we encourage you to provide the following information, if available:

  • A VaFWIS Initial Project Assessment for the project, if one was conducted
  • A map depicting all streams or wetlands, and description of anticipated temporary or permanent project impacts
  • Pictures of the project site and proposed impact areas
  • Total acreage of timbering/deforestation/ground clearing
  • A shapefile of the project location (particularly for large or linear projects)
  • For projects requiring numerous stream impacts, we recommend that you provide a stream crossing table that includes the following information:
    1. lat/long coordinates for each crossing site
    2. name of stream being crossed
    3. type of stream being crossed (perennial, intermittent)
    4. description of the substrate in the stream at each crossing
    5. depth and width of stream at crossing
    6. pictures of each crossing site (including upstream and downstream photos)
    7. a map depicting each crossing site, referenced to the stream crossing table

If ESS is unable to respond to your project within the timeframe you request, or if you receive no response, this does not constitute endorsement of your project or a lack of concern regarding anticipated project impacts; it simply means that, given our workload and other program responsibilities, VDGIF has not been able to respond to your request.

Additional Resources: