When a Clean Water Act, Section 404 permit is required for a proposed project, and wetlands and/or other waters of the U.S. may be affected, the Vicksburg District works with applicants to avoid and/or minimize the environmental impacts to aquatic resources as a result of proposed projects. If jurisdictional waters are affected, then compensatory mitigation is required (33CFR 325 and 332). The goal of compensatory mitigation for impacts to aquatic resources, including wetlands, is the restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.
Compensatory Mitigation includes restoring, enhancing, or preserving previously existing wetlands or aquatic sites,as well as creating new areas. A mitigation plan, to include future monitoring, is required when submitting an Individual (Standard) Permit application. This can be accomplished by one of the following methods.
1. Purchasing credits from an approved mitigation bank or in-lieu fee mitigation. Mitigation banks are evaluated by the Corps and other interested Federal, Tribal, and State entities. When an applicant chooses to utilize a mitigation bank, the Charleston Functional Assessment - Compensatory Mitigation Plan for Determining Wetland Credits - will be used to determine the amount of "credits" needed to offset the proposed unavoidable impacts.
Regional Internet Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS)
RIBITS is the result of federal resource agencies, including the USACE, commitment to better track mitigation banking. Its implementation is intended to bring transparency to mitigation banking (as well as In-Lieu Fees in the future) by providing public access to the location of bank sites, available credits and bank points of contact.
2. Permitee responsible mitigation, on- or off-site. As its name implies, the permittee retains responsibility for ensuring that required compensation activities are completed and successful. Permittee-responsible mitigation can be located at or adjacent to the impact site (i.e., on-site compensatory mitigation) or at another location generally within the same watershed as the impact site (i.e., offsite compensatory mitigation).