[DNR] Public information sessions for stream, wetland mitigation program proposal are Aug. 5-7by Department of Natural Resources on July 28, 2014
At three information sessions in August, the public can learn about a proposed program to allow an applicant for permits to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for unavoidable impacts to Indiana’s streams and wetlands to pay a fee to offset these impacts.
Currently, permits submitted to the USACE and IDEM for impacts to Indiana’s aquatic resources require the applicant to mitigate the impacts by either (1) restoring habitat at or near the project site, or (2) using an approved mitigation bank.
Called an “in-lieu fee,” this additional mitigation option will allow an applicant to make a payment to the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF), which will oversee the accumulated funds. The DNR will then be required to establish or restore aquatic resources within designated areas of the state.
The DNR has developed a document called a “prospectus” for the program and is working with the USACE and IDEM to develop procedures for this in-lieu program.
The information sessions are:
— Aug. 5 at Spring Mill State Park Inn, 3333 State Road 60 E., Mitchell.
— Aug. 6 at Fort Harrison State Park Inn, 5830 N. Post Road, Indianapolis.
— Aug. 7, Potato Creek State Park, 25601 State Road 4, North Liberty.
A presentation will be given at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at each location. Representatives of the DNR and INRF will be on hand to answer questions.
Additionally, the Natural Resources Commission recently approved new rules to allow for an in-lieu fee for mitigation required for construction in a floodway, public freshwater lake or navigable waterway issued by the DNR Division of Water. This new rule is not yet in effect and must still be reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office.