Approval Process for Wetlands Mitigation Banks

May 2, 2012 — 981 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

To comprehend the approval process for wetlands mitigation banks, you first must learn the definition of a mitigation bank. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this term refers to a wetland or other aquatic resource that has been changed or preserved as compensation for impacting the ecosystem. This might be due to construction or other projects.

When applying for approval, a company must take care of the following four things:

1.) Physical location - The geographic area that is being restored or enhanced must be explicitly defined.

2.) Bank instrument - This is the agreement between the mitigation bank owner and a regulatory committee which defines insurance liability and contingency plans in the event of an unexpected situation.

3.) Approval process - Federal and local regulatory staff form a Mitigation Banking Review Team (MBRT) or Conservation Banking Review Team (CBRT) to approve all aspects of a building plan. These teams will also be responsible for overseeing the eventual project.

4.) Service area - Unlike the physical location, this feature sets boundaries where permitted impacts can be compensated. For example, if a waterway is diverted due to construction, it might be allowed to deviate by a certain amount as long as the company compensates with an approved mitigation bank.