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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Environment - New wetlands mitigation option is being called an “in-lieu fee”

From the July 28th Chesterton Tribune, some quotes from this story:

A proposed program would allow an applicant applying to the U.S. Army Corps and IDEM for “unavoidable impacts to Indiana’s streams and wetlands” to pay a fee to offset these impacts.

Three public information sessions have been scheduled next month to introduce the proposed program. * * *

Currently, permits submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for impacts to the state’s aquatic resources require the applicant to mitigate the impacts either (1) by restoring habitat at or near the project site or (2) by using an approved mitigation bank.

The proposed new mitigation option is being called an “in-lieu fee” and it would allow an applicant to make a payment to the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF), which will oversee the accumulated funds. The DNR will then be required to establish or restore aquatic resources within designated areas of the state.

The DNR has developed a document called a “prospectus” for the program and is working with the Army Corps and IDEM to develop procedures for this in-lieu program. Representatives of the DNR and INRF will be on hand at all three public information sessions to answer questions.

Meanwhile, the DNR said, the Natural Resources Commission recently approved new rules to allow for an in-lieu fee for mitigation required for construction in a floodway, public freshwater lake, or navigable waterway issued by the DNR Division of Water.

Confusingly, it is not the IDNR site, but the IDEM site that turns up most often in searches re Indiana wetlands migiation. Here, from The Outdoor Wire, is an announcement of the three information sessions in August. And here, dated June 25, 2014, on the Army Corps site, is an 81-page document titled "In-Lieu Fee Program Prospectus for Indiana Stream & Wetland Mitigation Program."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 29, 2014 08:31 AM
Posted to Environment