UPDATE: Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Now Listed as Endangered

John Brooks By: John Brooks

The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) was listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on March 21, 2017.

Declines in many bee species have been documented over the last several decades due to pesticides, pathogens, habitat loss, small population dynamics, and climate change.  The rusty patched bumble bee’s (RPBB) known historical range is across 31 States/Provinces across the Midwest and Northeast United States, as well as Canada, and since 2000 have been reported in the following states: IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MN, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WI.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has not determined critical habitat for the bumble bee as not enough specifics are known about its lifecycle.  FWS has reserved the option to re-address critical habitat once more is known about its lifecycle.

RPBB are generalists who gather nectar from a variety of flowering plants, nest underground, and their foraging habitat is generally open meadows.  FWS lists the following standard ESA protective measures for the RPBB:

1. Unauthorized handling,
2. Unauthorized release of biological control agents,
3. Unauthorized release of non-native or native species that carry pathogens, diseases or fungi,
4. Unauthorized modification, removal, or destruction of habitat in which the rusty patched bumble bee is known to occur, and
5. Unauthorized discharge of chemicals or fill material into any wetlands in which the rusty patched bumble bee is known to occur.

The RPBB listing becomes effective on March 21, 2017, at which time conditions from FWS are likely to become part of your 401/404 permits (Nationwide Permits (NWPs), Regional Permits (RPs), State Programmatic General Permits (SPGPs), etc…).


Let Timmons Group assist you in planning for this eventuality.  Contact John Brooks at 804.200.6458 or john.brooks@timmons.com to discuss the specifics of your project and its permitting needs.


UPDATE: EPA to Act on 2015 Waters of the United States Rule

In accordance with Executive Order issued on February 28, 2017, the U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to review, and then either rescind or revise the court stayed 2015 Waters of the United States Rule.