Wetlands mitigation banking
In response to the continuing loss of our wetlands resource, our government established a “no net loss” (NNL) policy which requires developers to replace wetland areas destroyed by their projects. The Corps of Engineers grants permits to fill wetland areas for applicants who wish to develop them. However, before a project is approved, developers must convince regulators they have done all they could to avoid filling-in or damaging wetland areas. In order to conform to the NNL policy, developers must also submit a plan to either restore former degraded wetland areas or create new ones. To help developers reduce construction delays, mitigation banking was created. Mitigation banking allows credits from the creation of new wetlands in one area to be sold to developers who want to fill-in natural wetlands in other areas. Mitigation banks broker the transaction of these wetland mitigation credits. However, many say these banks have not delivered the results which were required under the “no net loss” policy. Naturalists and environmentalists claim efforts to create new wetlands in unnatural areas usually do not succeed. They say developers sometimes mitigate unrealistic areas merely to sell credits to others intent on destroying natural wetlands. Often, these new areas do not support life or perform the functions of natural wetlands. They say wetlands mitigation allows natural wetlands to be replaced by these newly created but useless areas, and claim mitigation banking exacerbates this problem. Critics say developers who purchase ecologically-worthless credits rather than preserve natural wetland areas violate the No Net Loss policy and are greatly speeding the disappearance of our precious wetlands resource.

Pending Legislation: None

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Poll Opening Date
February 13, 2020
Poll Closing Date
February 19, 2020

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