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Wetland mitigation is the offset or compensation of impacts to wetlands under the Section 404 Permitting Program. During the permitting process, the habitat type, quality, and characteristics of the impacted wetland are used to establish a “credit value.” A “mitigation plan,” is then developed by preserving, enhancing, and/or restoring wetlands in a way that matches the credit value of the impacted wetlands. Typically, mitigation plans will achieve the same habitat types located within the same geographic area or watershed to ensure that wetlands functions and values are not lost due to a permitted development activity. Mitigation activities often include hydrology improvements, vegetative plantings, invasive species control, and monitoring.
A mitigation bank is an area of land that has undergone wetland preservation, enhancement, and/or restoration activities by a private entity (Sponsor) for the purposes of generating “wetland credits” for sale to entities/individuals impacting wetlands. The generation and sale of these credits are highly regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and other environmental resource agencies and are tied solely to the successful management of the preservation, enhancement and/or restoration activities.
In order to establish an approved mitigation bank, the Sponsor must complete 7 steps: 1) Establish baseline information, 2) Submit a Prospectus, 3) Address Public Comments, 4) Prepare a Mitigation Banking Instrument, 5) Secure Financial Assurances, 6) Conduct Mitigation Activities, and 7) Monitor and Manage the Bank.
Securing mitigation at the right time and right price impacts the permit schedule and project costs. NRP will not only guide you through your wetland permit, but we will secure the most time and cost effective mitigation option available to you.
NRP has extensive experience on all sides of mitigation and fully understands the mitigation options defined at CFR 33. We have been directly involved in the successful establishment of over 15 mitigation banks and project specific mitigation sites, totaling thousands of acres. NRP is extensively connected in the mitigation industry, and can help create partnerships between landowners and mitigation bankers for the purposes of minimizing up-front costs and long-term risks, while maximizing the economic return on your land.