Mitigation Banks are one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States that are associated with permits issued under the authority of Sections 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The accompanying Little Muddy Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank- Addendum 1 prospectus outlines the circumstances and manner in which this Mitigation Bank will provide a compensatory mitigation option to permit applicants under the Corps permit program. The use of the Mitigation Bank to compensate for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources is a decision of the Corps of Engineers and there is no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization because of proposed use of this Mitigation Bank.
Wetlands Forever, Inc. (bank sponsor) proposes to establish a mitigation bank within the Big Muddy Watershed, under the mitigation rule as a compensatory wetland and stream mitigation option in Illinois. The primary objective of the proposed mitigation bank is to restore, enhance and permanently protect forested and emergent wetlands, as well as protect and enhance a 7,445-foot reach of the Little Muddy River and its riparian corridor. The mitigation bank will be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 (South Phase) as proposed is 108.00 acres in size and will be developed along the Little Muddy River, comprising 45.98 acres of forested wetlands, 2.0 acres of emergent wetlands, 13.0 acres of preserved forested wetlands, and 51.0 acres of stream riparian corridor. Phase 2 (North Phase) as proposed is 51.00 acres in size and will be developed along the Little Muddy River comprising of 22.0 acres of forested wetlands, 7.0 acres of forested preservation and 22.0 acres of streambank riparian corridor. Both phases will also provide stream stabilization measures and aquatic habitat enhancement. The mitigation bank when fully completed would contain 140.5 wetland credits for the restored, enhanced, and site protected wetland resources, and 64,989 stream credits for the stream and riparian buffer enhancement work. The credits will be available for compensating impacts that occur within the geographic service area of the bank.
If approved, the restoration and enhancement activities will be performed generating credits from the environmental improvements and will be available for sale on an incremental basis as long as the mitigation bank meets its anticipated goals set forth in the banking document. Credits from the project are not available for sale until documentation is provided by the bank sponsor that environmental restoration will proceed and written approval is granted by the Corps in consultation with the MBRT. The mitigation bank sponsor is developing the mitigation bank with the intent to sell the mitigation credits to recipients of Section 404 Permits who are required to compensate for unavoidable and adverse environmental impacts to waters of the United States. Specifically, the waters of the United States that will be compensated at the proposed bank include wetlands with emergent, scrub shrub and forested classifications, as well as stream impacts. Upon request, a copy of the Mitigation Banking Prospectus is available for review in our office.
Written comments must be submitted by replying by electronic mail, or written mail to the addresses shown in the signature block. The Public Notice comment period opens on November 20, 2018, and closes on December 19, 2018.