Seattle Biological Evaluation

The purpose of a biological evaluation is to describe a project’s proposed actions and effects on Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species or their critical habitat. The City of Seattle created the Seattle Biological Evaluation (SBE) to help expedite the federal permitting process for in-City capital projects and operations and maintenance activities. You can use the SBE if your project or activity meets all of the following criteria:

Project managers should consult the Corps during the early concept phases of a project or maintenance activity as to whether a Corps permit is required and, if yes, whether any ESA listed species or their critical habitat are in the project area.

Does my project or activity need a Corps permit?

The best way to find out if a project needs a Corp permit is to attend one of the bi-monthly Seattle/Corps informal pre-application meetings. To get on the agenda or to find out more information, please email See the 2015 calendar (pdf) for the meetings.

Does my project need a biological evaluation?

A Seattle/Corps pre-application meeting will help determine whether your project needs a biological evaluation. To get on the agenda or to find out more, please email You may also contact Jim Muck, our federal ESA representative.
Projects that are likely to need a biological evaluation include:

  • Projects or activities in areas of a federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their designated critical habitat
  • Projects or activities that ‘may affect’ a federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their designated critical habitat

Does my project or activity use any of the 13 construction methods or activities described in the SBE?

Section 3 (pdf) of the SBE describes construction methods and maintenance activities to construct, maintain, repair, or replace City of Seattle facilities. This Section also describes the conservation measures used in conjunction with each of these methods and activities to avoid or minimize environmental impacts.

Using the Seattle Biological Evaluation

Refer to the SBE document when filling out the Specific Project Information Forms (SPIFs). If your project needs a Corps permit, you will need to submit the following required documents to the Corps:

  • Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application (JARPA).
  • Specific Project Information Form (SPIF).
    You will need to submit the applicable SPIFs developed for this SBE. Use this SBE to identify ESA-listed species or their habitat in your project area. You may need to consult with Jim Muck, our federal ESA representative, to complete the information regarding which ESA-listed species are in your project or maintenance area and which of them may be affected by your project or maintenance activity. City of Seattle staff and consultants who require services by Jim Muck should email a filled out Service Request Form (docx).