(a) Successive effects determinations. If EPA determines after conferring with the Service that consultation on a FIFRA action will be unusually complex due to factors such as the geographic area or number of species that may be affected by the action, EPA may address the effects of the action through successive effects determinations under this subpart addressing groupings or categories of species or habitats as established by EPA. EPA may initiate consultation based upon each such effects determination using the procedure in § 402.46(a), and the provisions of § 402.46(b) and (c) shall apply to any such consultation. When consultation is conducted under this section, the written statement or opinion provided by the Service under § 402.46(c) constitutes a partial biological opinion as to the species or habitats that are the subject of the consultation. While not constituting completion of consultation under section 7(a)(2), EPA retains authority to use such a partial biological opinion along with other available information in making a finding under section 7(d) of the Act.
(b) Opinion of the Secretary. After conclusion of all consultation on the FIFRA action, the partial biological opinions issued under paragraph (a) of this section shall then collectively constitute the opinion of the Secretary and the incidental take statement, reasonable and prudent measures, and terms and conditions under section 7(b) of the Act except to the extent a partial biological opinion is modified by the Service in accordance with the procedures in § 402.46(c). The Service shall so advise EPA in writing upon issuance of the last partial biological opinion for the consultation.