What is a Mitigation Bank?

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WHEN A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, corporation, nonprofit organization, or other entity undertakes activities of unavoidable wetland impact a mitigation bank may be created under a formal agreement with a regulatory agency.

The EPA defines a mitigation bank as: a wetland, stream, or other aquatic resource area that has been restored, established, enhanced, or (in certain circumstances) preserved for the purpose of providing compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources permitted under Section 404 or a similar state or local wetland regulation.

Components of a mitigation bank

The bank site: The physical acreage of compensatory habitat restored, established, enhanced, or preserved.

The bank instrument: Mitigation bank owners and regulators establish liability, performance standards, management requirements, and the terms of bank credit approval in this formal agreement.

The Interagency Review Team (IRT): The IRT provides regulatory review, approval, and oversight of the mitigation bank.

The service area: The geographic area in which permitted impacts are compensated for at a given bank.

The value of a bank is defined in “compensatory mitigation credits.”


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