SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, along with several state and federal regulatory agencies, approved a new program by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation which offers a new option for mitigating unavoidable impacts to California’s aquatic resources, including wetlands.
The new program by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit organization, would enable permit holders required to provide compensatory mitigation to now pay an in-lieu fee as one option for satisfying their mitigation requirements.
The In-Lieu Fee Program is designed to consolidate mitigation fees and implement high-priority restoration projects within the same service area where the impact occurs. Signed Oct. 10, 2014, this is the first In-Lieu Fee Program established in the Sacramento District since new regulations were issued in 2008 and applies to all of California within the Corps’ Sacramento District.
Applicants for Corps permits must first avoid and minimize their impacts to aquatic resources as much as practicable. The Corps generally requires compensatory mitigation (the restoration of other wetlands, streams, etc.) for unavoidable impacts.
Along with the Corps and NFWF, the interagency team that formulated this agreement includes U.S. EPA Region IX, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, State Water Resources Control Board, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.
“The NFWF In-Lieu Fee Program offers a great option for permittees aimed at optimizing wetlands conservation in California,” said Mike Jewell, USACE Sacramento District regulatory chief. “We thank the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and all other agencies that worked diligently with us to make this possible.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulatory program administers and enforces Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Corps is committed to protecting the nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions.
Release no. 14-074