South Pacific Division
Comments Period: October 1, 2015 – October 30, 2015
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) South Pacific Division, including its Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Districts, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), as potential participants in Interagency Review Teams (IRT), have updated the standard Bank Enabling Instrument (BEI) template and the Conservation Easement (CE) template for use in the development of mitigation banks that are within, or that propose service areas within the State of California. This notice is to inform interested parties of the availability of the draft updated templates and to solicit comments from interested parties. This notice may be viewed at: http://www.spd.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNoticesandReferences.aspx.
AUTHORITY: These templates are proposed to supersede templates previously published in May 2008 and March 2010. They would be used in the development of mitigation banks, which provide mitigation for impacts from projects which have which have received authorizations to proceed under the authorities of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States. Additionally, these templates are to be used when those mitigation banks would also propose to provide mitigation for projects which have been required to provide mitigation by USFWS, CDFW, NMFS, the State Water Board, and/or NRCS.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: USACE, USFWS, NMFS, NRCS, EPA, CNRA, CDFW, and the State Water Board have jointly updated the attached BEI and CE templates. As mitigation banks in California typically provide credits for impacts regulated by multiple agencies, the attached documents integrate the requirements of USACE, USFWS, NMFS, NRCS, EPA, the California Resources Agency, the State Water Board, and CDFW. These agencies have committed through an interagency Memorandum of Understanding to establishing a combined and coordinated approach to mitigation banking which includes development of template documents for use throughout the State of California. These templates reflect existing regulations, policies, and guidance and represent the way in which USACE, USFWS, NMFS, NRCS, EPA, the CNRA, the State Water Board, and CDFW intend to implement and provide consistent approach to mitigation banking proposals. It is expected that, with a finalized templates, agencies and mitigation bankers will be able to proceed with confidence that regulatory needs are met and the information used in the bank review and approval process is adequate, predictable, consistent, and timely.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written or emailed comments must be submitted, by October 30, 2015, to:
Administrative Appeal Review Officer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
South Pacific Division
1455 Market Street, 2052B
San Francisco, CA 94103
If you have questions or need additional information please contact Tom Cavanaugh, 415-503-6574, Thomas.J.Cavanaugh@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: Bank Enabling Instrument (BEI) Template
Conservation Easement (CE) Template