CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announces the approval and signing of the National Audubon Society, Inc. – Connecticut Chapter’s In-Lieu Fee (“Audubon CT ILF”) Program for work in the state of Connecticut. The Audubon CT ILF program is now established as a result of the August 2013 signing of an ILF agreement (instrument) by Audubon CT and the Corps.
The ILF program is for use in association with the Corps’ Regulatory Program. Its purpose and goals are to: provide an alternative to permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation that will effectively replace functions and values of aquatic resources lost through permitted impacts; substantially increase the extent and quality of restoration, enhancement, creation and preservation of natural resources over that which is typically achieved by permittee-responsible mitigation for activities that impact on wetlands, significant wildlife habitats and other waters within Connecticut; reduce the extent of cumulative adverse impacts to aquatic resources that are regulated by the Corps permit program; provide applicants for permits from the Corps greater flexibility in compensating for adverse impacts to protected natural resources; and achieve ecological success on a watershed basis by directing Audubon CT ILF funds to natural resource types and functions that are appropriate to the geographic service area, and by integrating Audubon CT ILF projects with other conservation activities whenever possible.
As sponsor, Audubon CT administers a competitive grant funding program, soliciting proposals for wetland and waters restoration, enhancement, creation and/or preservation. These proposals are then given to an advisory committee to be ranked using a scoring methodology presented in the instrument. Ultimately, the proposals are presented with their funding requests to an Interagency Review Team, which recommends the finalists to the Corps for selection. Once the projects are chosen, Audubon CT is responsible for funding, execution and long-term stewardship.
Audubon CT ILF receives its funds from applicants who agree to use the program for mitigation of impacts resulting from the Corps’ Regulatory process. After the applicant avoids and minimizes the impacts to the extent possible, the Corps may approve the use of the ILF by the applicant. The Corps then determines the number of credits the applicant will need to purchase. The fees for the ILF credits are paid by the permittee to the sponsor and tracked by service area. The instrument is available for review on the Corps website at:
The public notice, with additional information on the approval and signing of the Audubon CT ILF, can be reviewed on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
For more information on this Audubon CT In Lieu Fee Agreement (File # NAE-2010-2215) contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Ruth Ladd), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751; by phone at 978-318-8818 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to email@example.com.