Wetland Mitigation Banking Fund ProgramContact: Michael Pennington 517-342-4568
In an effort to further promote wetland banking in Michigan, the legislature has enacted a new innovative approach to increase the establishment of wetland banks by developing a Wetland Mitigation Bank Funding (WMBF) Program totaling $10,000,000. The WMBF Program provides grants and low interest loans to eligible municipalities interested in developing a wetland mitigation bank. The primary purpose of the program is to promote the development of bank sites in areas that do not currently have existing markets and available credits. Grant and Loan applications under the WMBF Program will start being accepted on July 1, 2014.
Part 52, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. The WMBF Program is at Section 5204f.
Wetland mitigation banking is the establishment of new wetland areas, or "banks," in advance of anticipated losses. Wetlands established in a mitigation bank provide "credits" which can be sold to permit applicants, or used by the bank sponsor to meet permit conditions. Wetland banks offer several benefits over traditional mitigation practices. Unlike traditional mitigation which occurs just prior to or concurrent with projects, wetland banks are on the ground and functioning before any credit can be released. Mitigation banking benefits the state's wetland resources by providing new wetlands in advance of losses; by consolidating small mitigation projects into larger, better designed and managed units; and by encouraging integration of wetland mitigation projects with watershed based resource planning. Applicants also receive the benefit of reduced permit processing times and increased certainty regarding the availability of adequate mitigation sites. The DEQ’s wetland mitigation banking website includes information on the process and legal requirements for sponsoring and developing a wetland mitigation bank.
WMBF Grants can be used to develop an approvable wetland mitigation banking proposal, notify local units of government and adjacent property owners of the proposed wetland mitigation bank and work to resolve objections to the project, plan and design the wetland mitigation bank, and complete the wetland mitigation bank funding program loan application or a loan application from other funding sources. Grants cannot cover more than 90 percent of the cost to complete a loan application and require a 10 percent local match. It is anticipated that grant applications will be in the $30,000 and $100,000 range.
WMBF Loans can be used to complete and execute the wetland mitigation banking agreement, complete engineering and design for the wetland mitigation bank, purchase land for the wetland mitigation bank, construct the wetland mitigation bank, and conduct monitoring and maintenance necessary to ensure that performance standards are or will be met.