Corps of Engineers implements wetlands mitigation banking in Mat-SuThe U.S. Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers (Corps), Alaska District, authorized release of mitigation bank credits on December 4, 2009, to Su-Knik Environments, LLC., sponsors of the first mitigation bank established in Alaska since the final federal mitigation rule was published in April 2008.
Mitigation banking is relatively new. Anyone applying for a Department of the Army permit for placement of fill in waters of the United States must include a statement or a plan for compensatory mitigation to offset their project's unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources. They must explain how the project incorporates avoidance and minimization of impacts to aquatic resources, and propose a method to compensate for unavoidable impacts within the same watershed, typically with similar functions and values. The plan is reviewed by the Corps prior to placement of fill or alteration.
Mitigation banks typically involve larger, more ecologically valuable parcels, with rigorous scientific and technical analysis, planning, and implementation than mitigation plans that an individual permit applicant could normally provide. Purchasing credits through mitigation banks adds one more option for applicants when considering compensatory mitigation.
The mitigation bank's Fish Creek parcel contains 803 acres of mosaic waters, wetlands and uplands, recently preserved through a conservation easement with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and ready for release to applicants. The Great Land Trust, LLC, administers long-term management. Visit the Su-Knik Environments, LLC, web site at su-knikmitigationbank.com for more information.
For questions on the Corps' regulatory program in the valley, contact the Mat-Su Field Office, which has begun its second year of serving the public in the Mat-Su Valley. The office is located in Wasilla at the Century Plaza Building, 1075 South Check Street, Suite 102. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stop in, or call 907-357-4494 for an appointment, if you have questions on the Regulatory Program for work in waters of the United States.
For more information about the Corps of Engineers' Alaska District, visit our web site at: http://www.poa.usace.army.mil.
Posted: December 22, 2009
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