Wetland mitigation is the replacement of wetland functions through the creation or restoration of wetlands. Mitigation is required as a condition of many permits issued under state law (Part 303, Wetlands Protection, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended) and federal law (Part 404 of the Clean Water Act). The goal of wetland mitigation is to replace wetland functions which provide public benefits, such as flood storage, water quality protection, fish and wildlife habitat, and groundwater recharge. Source: EGLE
Wetland mitigation banking is the process, in advance of any authorized (i.e. permitted) impacts, of making “credits” available based on the acreage of functional wetland that was restored or created. The “credits” can then be sold to entities such as businesses or landowners to meet wetland mitigation requirements determined by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Wetland mitigation in Michigan is administered by EGLE under the Wetland Mitigation Banking Rules established under the authority of Part 303, Wetland Protection, NREPA. Check this map to see if your project is within our service area.
Wetland mitigation banking has several benefits over traditional site-specific mitigation, otherwise known as permittee-responsible mitigation, which typically involves creating small wetlands usually on the same property as a proposed development. Historically, site-specific mitigations have had a very significant failure rate due to several factors including: small size, improper maintenance, isolated location, and lack of regulatory oversight. In fact, according to EGLE, only 1 in every 5 site-specific mitigations is considered successful.
In comparison, wetland mitigation banks are typically larger sites (more than 10 acres) and are strategically located to maximize wetland function and successful establishment. Banks are located in areas that provide the most benefit for the watershed. The approval of wetland banks requires significant regulatory oversight and the documentation of success before wetland “credits” can be sold. The large size, upfront documentation of success, and long-term management requirements of banks result in high quality wetland habitat and significant water quality benefits for the watershed.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), with oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), determines when and how many credits are released based on the wetland mitigation banking administrative rules. Niswander Environmental manages and monitors each bank site to ensure that all performance standards are met and the wetlands provide significant ecological function. EGLE releases bank credits when certain vegetation, soils, and hydrology standards are met.
Yes, wetland mitigation banks are placed under a permanent conservation easement that is held by EGLE. Once the site has met all performance standards and all credits have been released, a long-term manager will be established to provide stewardship into perpetuity.
Wetland Mitigation Banking credits can be purchased by anyone who is required by the regulatory agencies (typically EGLE) to provide wetland mitigation. Typically, wetland mitigation is required as a permit condition for larger developments that are impacting wetland or stream areas. After EGLE determines the amount of credits required for mitigation and approves the use of a registered mitigation bank, the private transaction between the bank owner and the credit buyer may occur. Source: ODC Network
Stream mitigation banking is currently not available in Michigan. Niswander Environmental can provide site-specific stream mitigation when required by EGLE. Please contact us to discuss options.
Niswander Environmental is the recognized expert in creating wetland mitigation areas throughout the state of Michigan. Should your project be located in an area that does not have bank credits, please contact us to discuss options to meet your mitigation needs.
After the completed purchase of wetland mitigation bank credits, the buyer has no further obligation regarding any wetland mitigation bank credit permit conditions. Our goal is to make the purchase of wetland mitigation bank credits as easy as possible. Several of our customers have noted that purchasing wetland mitigation bank credits from us is easier than “ordering a pizza”.