In-Water Pile Driving Plan for Sound Exposure

Project Proponents will develop a plan for pile-driving activities to minimize impacts to Covered Species and submit it for USFWS Field Office review and approval as part of the ESA Section 7(a)(2) Review Form review process (Section 2.1.2, Administration of the PBO). Measures will be implemented to minimize underwater sound pressure to levels below fish thresholds for peak pressure and accumulated sound exposure levels. Threshold levels established in Fisheries Acoustic Work Group’s Agreement in Principle for Interim Criteria for Injury to Fish from Pile Driving Activities (FHWG 2008) can be used as a guideline for the protection of Covered Species. The plan will describe the method that is least impactful to aquatic organisms, and will identify the number, type, and size of piles; estimated sound levels caused by the driving; number of piles driven each day; qualifications of monitors; any other relevant details on the nature of the pile-driving activity; and the actions that will be taken to ensure that a project stays within the required sound exposure thresholds.