A mitigation bank is an agreement between a regulatory agency or agencies (state, federal, or local) and a sponsor which can be a public agency, non-profit organization, or private entity. In a banking instrument, the mitigation sponsor agrees to provide compensation that will be initiated before credits are approved for release by an Interagency Review Team. These credits can then be purchased or used by permittees instead of providing permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation required under the Corps or a state or local aquatic resource regulatory program. The sponsor does a large, ecologically meaningful project for which it can charge the public per credit, or deduct credits if it is a single-user bank for an entity such as a state department of transportation.
The Corps of Engineers has a database for all third-party mitigation programs and projects, including banks and in-lieu fee (ILF) programs. The program, Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Banking Information System (RIBITS), can be accessed at HERE. Information available on RIBITS includes copies of banking and ILF agreements, approved project agreements, credits provided by each project, permits which have used the bank or ILF program, deeds and easements, monitoring reports, site inspection reports, and much more. To assist in navigating the site, the following link is to a series of screen shots to walk you through RIBITS.
Finding Your Way Around RIBITS