Programmatic consultations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other environmental laws can help streamline decisions and improve consistency of avoidance and minimization measures (AMMs) but can sometimes be difficult to navigate. While it is important to keep the practitioner in mind in developing these agreements, the complexity of some resources can make even the best written programmatic agreements difficult to follow. For two such programmatics involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries for the ESA and Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Georgia Department of Transportation contracted with Arcadis to develop a computer application that helped to simplify these complex processes, create standard outputs for inclusion in environmental documentation, and standardize language for environmental AMMs. This application was vetted by NOAA and has shown increased usage of these complex, but beneficial programmatic consultation options.
Lessons from policy applications