The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) have announced innovative new standards to promote no net loss of wetlands. Wetlands and other aquatic resources play an important role in the environmental landscape. Those who intend to dredge or deposit fill in wetlands or other waters of the U.S. must apply for a permit from the Corps (or EPA-approved State) under the Clean Water Act. Consistent with the wetland program’s goal of “no net loss of wetlands,” these permits often require compensatory mitigation – typically, the restoration of former (historically degraded) wetlands to mitigate the effects of wetland loss. The new standards improve wetland restoration and protection policies, increase the effective use of wetland mitigation banks and strengthen the requirements for the use of in-lieu fee mitigation. These new wetlands compensatory mitigation standards emphasize best available science, promote innovation and focus on results. This rule follows the recommendations of the National Research Council by establishing equivalent, effective standards for all forms of wetland replacement projects under the Clean Water Act.
For more information regarding compensatory mitigation and to download a copy of the new standards, http://www.epa.gov/wetlandsmitigation.