In-Lieu Fee (ILF) programs offer numerous benefits for applicant’s including a shorter permitting process, greater environmental benefit with larger land area, reduced risk of failure and allows the applicant to achieve a better economy of scale and therefore lower overall project cost. In May 2014, S+W received approval for the ILF program covering the Upper Scioto and Tuscarawas watershed in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntington Corps District and in July 2014, we received approval for our ILF program for the Pittsburgh District. The Pittsburgh District comprises part of eastern Ohio while the Huntington District encompasses 45,000 square miles in parts of five states, including the majority of Ohio. Prior to these approvals, these districts had very few options for wetland mitigation credits as many existing mitigation banks have few or no available credits. This authorization assists permit applicants in these Districts with their mitigation needs.
S+W is the first entity in Ohio to be approved to operate an ILF program since the 2008 federal rule was issued.
About In-Lieu Fee Programs (ILF)
Federal regulations require that an ILF program be administered by state or local government agencies or nonprofit natural resource-based entities. Users of the ILF program pay a pre-determined amount per mitigation credit to an ILF sponsor, who performs the actual mitigation. Payment in lieu of actual mitigation has been utilized by permit applicants in Ohio to meet compensatory mitigation needs in the past. Over the past 20 years, federal policy has shifted between allowing and prohibiting the use of ILF program. In 2008, federal compensatory mitigation rules formerly established in-lieu-fee (ILF) as an acceptable form of compensatory mitigation, if an approved wetland mitigation bank is not available.
Prior to the approval of S.B. 294 in summer of 2012, ILF was not recognized in Ohio as an acceptable form of compensatory mitigation for impacts to jurisdictional or isolated wetlands. The legislation authorizes the use of ILF in certain circumstances and thus provides an additional option for those required to mitigate for impacts to streams and wetlands in Ohio.
Contact us to see how our ILF can benefit your organization.