As soon as practical after the emergency event is under control, the action agency initiates consultation if the emergency response may affect listed species and/or critical habitat. If adverse effects to a listed species are necessary to respond to the emergency, consultation should begin as soon as possible after the emergency to discuss effects to any listed species that may have occurred.
The action agency drafts a biological assessment that includes a justification for expedited consultation, a description of activities that occurred during the emergency, documentation of how the USFWS recommendations were implements, and resulting effects to listed species and their habitats.
Because emergency consultations are “after the fact” consultations, they do not strictly follow the standard Biological Opinion format. Rather, they focus on assessing the effects, identifying restoration opportunities, and re-evaluating environmental baselines.
An emergency consultation includes an estimate of the amount of take that occurred during the emergency, documentation of USFWS recommendations to minimize effects, an evaluation of the action agency’s success in implementing the recommendations, and a determination of the ultimate effect of the take of listed species.
Take or other adverse effects resulting from the emergency are not attributable to the Federal action agency. Rather, incidental take by the Federal agency could only occur because of the response to the emergency. Because the incidental take statement is issued after-the-fact, reasonable and prudent measures are not included in the biological opinion for the emergency actions unless ongoing actions will result in incidental take.