Federal, State and Local laws and regulations require compensatory mitigation for permanent impacts to a variety of natural resources (streams, wetlands, riparian and wetland buffers, open water, forest, critical wildlife habitat, etc.). In most cases, these permanent impacts are permitted. In other cases, these impacts are violations of environmental law. A project’s permits are often conditioned upon or not issued until acceptable compensatory mitigation is identified and/or secured. Furthermore, most regulations require that the mitigation is constructed prior to or concurrent with the proposed impacts. In the absence of appropriate mitigation, the permitting process can come to a halt, resulting in significant delays. Therefore, identifying and gaining approval for compensatory mitigation is a critical path item that can expedite permit issuance.
The process of identifying, securing, designing, obtaining approvals for, constructing, maintaining and monitoring mitigation projects is complex, time consuming, costly, and carries both risk and liability. The risks associated with providing mitigation include:
- The unknown financial burden associated with identification, acquisition, design, construction, financial assurances and maintenance and monitoring. Providing compensatory mitigation can also be a distraction at best from ones core business and at worst a financial liability with uncertain costs.
- The length of time it takes to get through the process which can impact schedules and budgets. Mitigation projects must carry financial assurances tied to the construction and performance of the project over a 5-7 year “maintenance and monitoring” (MM) period once completed.
- The potential failure of work performed and the potential need for costly corrective actions. During the typical 5-7 year maintenance and monitoring period the project proponent is responsible for the success of the mitigation which is governed by a specific set of biological, chemical and physical performance standards.
- The length of time involved in securing the regulatory release deeming the mitigation project successful and complete. Only when the mitigation has met all of the mandated performance standards at the end of the MM period can the proponent be released from any further risk, liability or obligation.
The process of identifying, securing, designing, obtaining approvals for, constructing and maintaining and monitoring mitigation projects is complex, time consuming, costly and carries both risk and liability. GreenVest actively assumes the 100% of the risks and liability of developing and providing mitigation for our clients. By assuming all the risk, we allow our clients to focus on their core business and help complete projects on time and within budget. This requires a blend of scientific, legal and real-estate skills. We do this in two ways 1) providing credits through established mitigation banks and 2) developing custom tailored turnkey mitigation.