Frequently Asked Questions
What is compensatory mitigation?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, compensatory mitigation is, “The restoration, establishment, enhancement, or in certain circumstances preservation of wetlands, streams or other aquatic resources for the purpose of offsetting unavoidable impacts.” Jointly with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the 2008 mitigation rule prioritizes the use of mitigation banks to offset project impacts. Likewise, other federal agencies, state agencies, and local agencies layer credit types for an overall compensatory mitigation package to offset impacts while creating and preserving natural habitat types.
Why is compensatory mitigation necessary?
The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 helped shape the way our country manages our nation’s rivers, lakes, streams, estuaries and other water systems by protecting, monitoring and restricting the types of activities allowed to take place.
Under the CWA, discharging to and dredging from waterways is only allowed if a permit is issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and appropriate state and local agencies. It requires that the permittee avoid negative impacts to surrounding watersheds, wetlands, and other water systems. If impacts cannot be avoided, then the permittee must replace habitat loss through compensatory mitigation. In addition to impacts to water and wetland habitat, impacts to habitat that supports special-status plant and wildlife species may be required.
What are the benefits of mitigation banking?
Mitigation banks are the preferred way to offset impacts to habitat and species:
- Transfer of liability: Restoration banks are managed and maintained by the bank sponsor. When investors purchase credits, regulatory and long-term management risk of the site is passed from permittee to the mitigation banker.
- Enhance community relationships: Permittees can work directly with local communities they invest in and highlight the benefits and ongoing impact of the restored site on watershed health, improved air quality, and, in many cases, recreation opportunities.
- Cost effective: It is often most cost effective to restore large tracts of land. Our restoration banking projects aim to restore larger areas of habitat than our competitors, generating economies of scale that can result in cost savings.
- Ecologically superior: Larger restoration sites have reduced impacts from surrounding development (i.e., edge effects), have the abilty to encompass larger buffers between habitat types to allow for transition areas and groundwater infiltration/storage, create larger territorites for wildlife species, and create corridors for movement. In addition, mitigation banks must meet success criteria prior to final approval and credit release–financial securities are in place to ensure success and long-term viability.
What credits does RestorCap offer?
Depending on the service area of our project, RestorCap’s habitat restoration projects can produce NRD credits (DSAY), wetland mitigation credits, riparian mitigation credits, riverine mitigation credits, and/or special-status species credits.
How can RestorCap help?
We help clients offset mitigation requirements through the purchase of mitigation credits. Depending on the mitigation need, credits are purchased by permit applicants or potentially responsible parties (PRPs). When an applicant or PRP purchases a credit from RestorCap, we assume all responsibility for creating and maintaining the credit-generating habitat. We are also able to develop custom solutions to meet mitigation needs by finding or creating habitat–a “turnkey” project.
We also provide all required financial assurances to ensure credit requirements are met and long-term viability of the habitat is maintained in perpetuity to meet agency, trustee council, and permit conditions.
What type of site does RestorCap restore?
RestorCap’s projects are focused on credits that satisfy conditions required by the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, CERCLA (Superfund), and other state and local environmental regulations. Our expertise in brownfield restoration allows us to focus on urban and suburban areas that have been impacted from industrial and other unregulated releases. Currently, RestorCap has multiple active projects in the Pacific Northwest including the Willamette River (Portland) and the Lower Duwamish River/Scappoose Bay (Seattle). We also work with our partners to develop turnkey mitigation solutions to meet client needs.
We take ownership of every project. And, as an equity partner, we design our projects for long-term success. We have found that taking shortcuts never creates the best outcomes. Our successes demonstrate the value of restoring the most degraded sites–often, industrial sites are the most cost effective mitigation solution, but our competitors don’t understand how to navigate brown field sites. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get to know us.
Ready to get started? We’ll help with the entire credit purchasing process, including confirmation with the regulatory agency or trustee council. If your mitigation need is unique, we’ll also guide you through the process of creating a mitigation solution, including conceptual design, land purchase, construction, and everything that follows, including full, ongoing management of the restored habitat.