BWSR is in the process of developing an in-lieu fee (ILF) mitigation program. An ILF is an alternative mechanism to wetland banking and project-specific replacement to satisfy wetland mitigation requirements under the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act as administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). Applicants proposing to impact wetlands and provide mitigation for those impacts may purchase credits from an ILF sponsor. If an ILF sponsor sells the credits to an applicant, then the responsibility for providing the wetland mitigation is shifted from the applicant to the ILF sponsor. Essentially, the applicant is paying a fee to an ILF sponsor to shift responsibility for wetland mitigation to that sponsor. The ILF credits that are sold to an applicant are referred to as "advance credits" as they have yet to be generated through a wetland mitigation project. The ILF sponsor then has a certain amount of time to generate those credits and is solely responsible for providing them under the terms of the ILF program.
BWSR's proposed ILF program is intended to focus on replacement for the Local Government Road Wetland Replacement Program (LGRWRP), but the program will be available to the general public when wetland bank credits are lacking in a particular Bank Service Area. The following documents are related to the ILF proposal. The prospectus provides an overview of the proposed ILF program and serves as the basis for public comment. The prospectus is followed by the preparation and review of a draft and then final ILF instrument.
In addition to an ILF program instrument, a compensation planning framework (CPF) document must be developed for each Bank Service Area where the ILF will be implemented. The CPF is used to select, secure and implement mitigation activities per the ILF program instrument. It uses a watershed approach for making decisions that support the sustainability or improvement of aquatic resources in a watershed. BWSR plans to develop CPFs for all Bank Service Areas in the state. CPF documents are and will be posted below on each CPF as they are finalized.