By Janell M. Bogue
On May 9, 2008, the Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Districts of the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) released standard templates for mitigation banks. Included are templates for:
- Bank Enabling Instrument (“BEI”)
- Conservation Easement
- Management Plan
- Property Assessment and Warranty
- Various Checklists
These templates were developed to address concerns over the long timelines for development and approval of individual banks. It is hoped that the templates will give consistency to the process for both bank proponents and the Interagency Review Team. Given the recent issuance of final rules regarding compensatory mitigation and the prioritization of the use of mitigation banks, these templates will be useful to those wishing to establish new banks. Banks can be developed to provide mitigation for impacts from development in navigable waters or discharge of dredged or fill material pursuant to a Section 404 permit.
The templates reflect current regulations and policies from all involved agencies. This includes the Corps, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Resources Agency, and the California Department of Fish and Game.
A facilitated implementation meeting will be held in Sacramento on July 18, 2008 to discuss the templates. More information about the meeting can be found here. Full drafts of the templates can be found at the Corps website.
Janell Bogue is an associate with Abbott & Kindermann, LLP. For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, environmental and planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, LLP at (916) 456-9595.
The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, LLP, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.