CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is seeking public comments on three projects which have applied for funding through the National Audubon Society’s Connecticut In-Lieu Program. The National Audubon Society, Inc., through its Connecticut program (Audubon Connecticut), is the sponsor of the Connecticut In-Lieu Fee Program which serves as an alternative form of compensatory mitigation for aquatic resources impacts.
The Connecticut In-Lieu Fee Program is authorized by the New England District, Army Corps of Engineers. A copy of the signed ILF agreement titled “Final Instrument for the Audubon Connecticut In-Lieu Fee Program Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, Inc.” dated Aug. 21, 2013, includes details about the ILF program goals and objectives in general and can be found at the following link:
The Connecticut ILF Program accrued funds that were made available through a competitive grant process for the preservation, restoration and enhancement of wetland and watercourse resources and associated upland buffers in the state of Connecticut. The Corps has received three applications to conduct work in waters of the U.S. from various applicants who have applied for 2018 funding under the ILF Program.
The public notice on the Corps website provides the proposed project descriptions and locus maps for the three applications.
The In-Lieu Fee Program serves as an alternative form of compensation for impacts to aquatic resources resulting from work authorized by the Corps’ New England District. Compensatory mitigation occurs in circumstances where a permittee is required to compensate for the functions and values of aquatic resources lost as a result of the authorization after all efforts are made to avoid and minimize impacts. ILF is an option available to the applicant instead of completing permittee-responsible mitigation. Use of the ILF program is contingent upon Corps and/or state approval.
All ILF agreements in New England are available for review and download on the Corps website at:
The decision whether to approve funding for projects will be based on an evaluation of each proposed activity as well as how and where it will compensate for aquatic resources lost through authorizations issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The decision will reflect the national concern for no net loss of aquatic resources. The benefits that may reasonably accrue from each proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments and/or its appropriateness considering the ecological needs of the service area in which it is located.
The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to determine the most appropriate projects to receive funding from the ILF Fund. Any comments received will be provided to the Interagency Review Committee, including the Corps, and will be considered in the evaluation of the projects and the determination of which will receive funding. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors.
The public notice, which provides the proposed project descriptions and locus maps for the three applications, can be reviewed on the Corps website at: www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on the three projects applying for Audubon Connecticut ILF Program funds (file # NAE-2010-02215) should be forwarded no later than Sept. 27, 2018 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Taylor Bell), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Taylor Bell at 978-318-8952 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: email@example.com.