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.