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Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks

By Government of the United States
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he Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are issuing final policy guidance regarding the establishment, use and operation of mitigation banks for the purpose of providing compensation for adverse impacts to wetlands and other aquatic resources. The purpose of this guidance is to clarify the manner in which mitigation banks may be used to satisfy mitigation requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit program and the wetland conservation provisions of the Food Security Act (FSA) (i.e., “Swampbuster” provisions). Recognizing the potential benefits mitigation banking offers for streamlining the permit evaluation process and providing more effective mitigation for authorized impacts to wetlands, the agencies encourage the establishment and appropriate use of mitigation banks in the Section 404 and “Swampbuster” programs.