Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are proposing to revise regulations governing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by permits issued by the Department of the Army. The proposed regulations are intended to establish performance standards and criteria for the use of permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation and mitigation banks, and to improve the quality and success of compensatory mitigation projects for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. The proposed regulations are also intended to account for regional variations in aquatic resource types, functions, and values, and apply equivalent standards to each type of compensatory mitigation to the maximum extent practicable. The proposed rule includes a watershed approach to improve the quality and success of compensatory mitigation projects in replacing losses of aquatic resource functions, services, and values resulting from activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. We are proposing to require in-lieu fee programs, after a five-year transition period, to meet the same standards as mitigation banks.