What is Mitigation Banking?
Mitigation banks are large-scale, ecosystem-oriented wetland restoration projects designed to provide compensatory mitigation in advance of unavoidable adverse impacts to wetlands caused by projects such as pipelines, electric transmission lines, road construction, and well pads. Many projects involve wetland impacts that are relatively small. To mitigate individually for such impacts often results in “postage stamp” mitigation projects that are smaller, often isolated wetlands that provide little environmental benefit.
Mitigation banking provides developers, utility providers, and state and local governments with the opportunity to pay a one-time fee to purchase credits from the bank, thereby satisfying all or a portion of the statutory wetland mitigation requirements.
Mitigation banking is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) preferred alternative to the “postage stamp” method of compensatory wetland mitigation and mitigation banks provide a more comprehensive, cost effective and higher-quality mitigation solution.
The Pineywoods Mitigation Bank offers mitigation alternatives to permit applicants whose projects impact wetlands in the Neches River basin and surrounding watersheds. The goals of the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank are to:
- Provide enhancement, restoration, protection, and maintenance of a 19,079-acre bottomland forested wetland ecosystem, by developing a native, self-sustaining bottomland hardwood forest indigenous to the Neches River Basin.
- Provide for the replacement of the chemical, physical, and biological functions of wetlands and other aquatic resources that are lost or degraded as a result of USACE-authorized impacts.
- Adverse impacts to the aquatic ecosystem after appropriate and practicable measures ve been taken to avoid and minimize project-related impacts on-site.