by McKenzi Heger | August 9, 2018
Mitigation bank credits and turnkey mitigation – they both have the word mitigation in their name but are they the same? The short answer is no, but let’s dig a little deeper. Mitigation could be defined as the process of making something less severe or damaging. In terms of land, it’s the process of restoring it back to its natural state and offsetting any known impacts as a result of damage to that land. This act of mitigation is common amongst wetlands, which brings us to mitigation bank credits.
A mitigation bank is a “wetland, stream, or other aquatic resource area that has been restored, established, enhanced, or (in certain circumstances) preserved for the purpose of providing compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources permitted under Section 404 or a similar state or local wetland regulation” (EPA). The Section 404 permit program was put in place to support the Clean Water Act (CWA) in hopes of regulating the disposal of dredged material into U.S. waters, even wetlands.
Wetland mitigation banking, our top form of mitigation, was an approach established by Federal and State regulators to allow bank sponsors (both public and private entities) the ability to restore and preserve wetlands, streams, and various habitats. Compensatory mitigation is a requirement when it comes to this service as it ensures the proper measures are taken to replace the loss of wetland and offsets any impacts.
Speaking of, GreenVest currently manages mitigation banks in three states: New Jersey, Maryland, and North Carolina. Maryland, in particular, is home to the USDA B.A.R.C. Facility Wetland & Stream Mitigation site, Piscataway Creek Mitigation site, and the Mattawoman Creek Mitigation site. All three Maryland mitigation sites are involved in the restoration of the Potomac Watershed, both lower and middle portions, and play an important role in preserving non-tidal wetland habitats and stream/stream buffers.
Purchasing mitigation bank credits offers various benefits to bank sponsors including: reducing and fixing the total cost of mitigation as well as eliminating the time lag it takes to acquire, design, construct, and maintain/monitor a mitigation site. All of the above benefits will, overall, improve the project cost and schedule performance as a whole.
Turnkey mitigation, on the other hand, is a service provided by GreenVest when mitigation credits are unavailable. This service is offered to both entities and individuals who are facing various mitigation requirements and provides start to finish services. This contracted agreement comes free of any contingent liability as GreenVest completes the service at an upfront fixed price.
The process of implementing turnkey mitigation starts at identifying, acquiring, and holding the title to the land in question, which allows our clients to focus on their business efforts while we focus on completing the projects associated with mitigating their land. This service includes land acquisition, planning, design/build, maintenance/monitoring and land stewardship.
We believe ecological restoration and preservation can be integrated with economic growth and it shows in our mitigation work. Be motivated to do the right thing and join us in keeping our environment healthy. Have questions about mitigation bank credits or turnkey mitigation? Contact us today! We’re more than happy to help.