The Local Government Road Wetland Replacement Program (LGRWRP) was established to provide wetland mitigation for certain qualifying road reconstruction, repair and rehabilitation projects conducted by local road authorities (cities, townships, counties). BWSR provides wetland mitigation for wetland impacts incurred as a result a qualifying project. Prior to program establishment in 1996, road authorities were responsible for providing their own wetland mitigation for such projects. Local road authorities must follow the required process to take advantage of the program.
LGRWRP project eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Does not involve new roads or roads expanded solely for additional traffic capacity lanes in anticipation of future demand.
- Must involve repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction or replacement of a currently serviceable road to meet state or federal design or safety standards or requirements.
- Must minimize wetland impacts.
- Must provide project plans and information including wetland boundaries, wetland impacts by type and demonstration of wetland impact minimization to the TEP at least 30 days prior to construction. For emergency maintenance work impacting less than 10,000 square feet of wetland, project plans and information may be submitted within 30 days of construction.
Local road authorities are strongly encouraged to schedule at least an annual meeting with members of the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) to discuss and help determine which upcoming road projects might qualify for the program. Local road authorities must complete the applicable parts of the Minnesota joint application form for those projects that meet program requirements and distribute them to all members of the TEP as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). Upon approval by the TEP via signatures, the local road authority must provide the signed form to the BWSR Wetland Mitigation Coordinator and/or his/her designee. In addition, the associated Corps permit number must be provided to BWSR so that their mitigation requirements can be satisfied by BWSR as well.
2020 Participation Opportunities for Restoration Projects and Credit Purchases
On March 9, 2020 BWSR simultaneously issued three requests for proposal (RFP) and announced an easement sign-up period all directed at acquiring and generating wetland credits in targeted areas of the state. The RFPs and easement sign up period represent opportunities for current wetland bank account holders interested in selling deposited credits and persons interested in restoring wetlands to enter into agreements with the State for the development of wetland credits. General information on the opportunities available and a comparison of the restoration project options is provided below. Specific information, including copies of the State register notice for each RFP and the application materials, is provided under each option heading.
In response to the disruptions and work-related complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is extending the submission deadline of the Local Government Road Wetland Replacement Program's request for proposals and easement sign-up period. Application for any of the participation opportunities are now due by 2:30 pm on Thursday, May 21st, 2020. Please be aware that application must be received by U.S. Mail or courier. Email and faxed proposals will not be considered.
Direct Purchase of Wetland Credits
Wetland bank account holders in Bank Service Areas 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9 who have Circular 39 type 2, 3, 6, 1, 7, or 4 wetland credit types may submit a response to this RFP. Account holders considering this option should read the fact sheet and application materials to familiarize themselves with the requirements and conditions.
BWSR is seeking landowners interested in having wetlands restored on their property in Bank Service Areas 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9. Landowners would receive payment on a per acre basis for granting a perpetual conservation to the State. BWSR is responsible for designing the project and obtaining regulatory approvals for the wetland restoration project. BWSR typically contracts with the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to aid BWSR and the landowner with the easement acquisition process, construction oversight, and invoicing for completed work. Landowners are expected to hire contractors to construct the site using the BWSR developed plan and are reimbursed by BWSR.
Third Party Project
BWSR is seeking landowners or other entities who are independently pursuing a wetland banking project in Bank Service Areas 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 and are interested in selling credits to the State. The State would provide payment on a cost per credit basis determined by the respondent that represents BWSR’s payment for the conservation easement and the improvements to the property to generate the wetland credits. Respondents considering this method should be aware that (1) the restoration site cannot be protected by a perpetual conservation easement in favor of the State prior to execution of the agreement between the State and the landowner, and (2) any credits proposed to be sold to the State must be deposited in the State Wetland Bank and available for transfer to a BWSR account no later than December 31, 2022.
BWSR is seeking to develop wetland credits through partnerships with landowners, local governments, and other entities to restore previously drained or filled wetlands. Partnership projects take advantage of the experience, capabilities and technical resources of each partner. Respondents considering this option should be familiar with the wetland banking process and understand the technical and financial commitments associated with wetland banking as well as possess the financial means to support construction of a wetland banking project. The credits generated by the wetland restoration project would be split between BWSR and the partner based on the terms of a partnership agreement. BWSR is requesting proposals from potential partners with sites located in the following Bank Service Areas (BSA): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.