CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to revise its compensatory mitigation guidance for use in reviewing all mitigation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources associated with Department of the Army permits in New England. The terms “mitigation” and “compensation” are used here interchangeably to refer to compensatory mitigation.
The Corps’ New England District has periodically revised and updated its compensatory mitigation guidance, most recently in 2016. These revisions are generally for a variety of reasons, including incorporating new national guidance and directives, improved methodologies, and updated technical information. A combination of these has prompted this current revision.
There are several notable changes in the proposed guidance. It has been restructured so the overall compensatory mitigation guidance is the main body of the document with appendices for a variety of specific topics. All matrices have been grouped in one appendix (Appendix C) for ease of use. Based on lessons learned during the use of the 2016 guidance, major changes have been made in the matrices and calculations for vernal pools and streams. The Vernal Pool Assessment and Vernal Pool Characterization Form have been moved into the Vernal Pool module in Appendix H. Some guidance for rockweed has been added in Appendix J. Additional appendices have been added: Appendix B - Site Selection Checklist, Appendix M - Long Term Management Plan Template, and Appendix N - In Lieu Fee Programs. In addition, a number of smaller, mostly editorial changes have been made.
Preliminary review of the proposed compensatory mitigation guidance revisions indicates that: 1) no environmental impact statement will be required; 2) implementation will not affect any species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and 3) no cultural or historic resources considered eligible or potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places will be affected. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed compensatory mitigation revisions, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on these proposed compensatory mitigation guidance revisions (file # NAE-2019-00007) should be forwarded no later than June 27, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Ruth Ladd), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Ruth Ladd at 978-318-8818 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Taylor Bell at email@example.com, or to CENAE-R@usace.army.mil.
Release no. 19-050