Engineers Corps April 10, 2008 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources
Document Number: E8-6918
Type: Rule
Date: 2008-04-10
Agency: Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Engineers Corps, Army Department
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are issuing regulations governing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by permits issued by the Department of the Army. The regulations establish performance standards and criteria for the use of permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, mitigation banks, and in-lieu programs to improve the quality and success of compensatory mitigation projects for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. This rule improves the planning, implementation and management of compensatory mitigation projects by emphasizing a watershed approach in selecting compensatory mitigation project locations, requiring measurable, enforceable ecological performance standards and regular monitoring for all types of compensation and specifying the components of a complete compensatory mitigation plan, including assurances of long-term protection of compensation sites, financial assurances, and identification of the parties responsible for specific project tasks. This rule applies equivalent standards to permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, mitigation banks and in-lieu fee mitigation to the maximum extent practicable. Since a mitigation bank must have an approved mitigation plan and other assurances in place before any of its credits can be used to offset permitted impacts, this rule establishes a preference for the use of mitigation bank credits, which reduces some of the risks and uncertainties associated with compensatory mitigation. This rule also significantly revises the requirements for in-lieu fee programs to address concerns regarding their past performance and equivalency with the standards for mitigation banks and permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation.