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Mitigation Banks and In-Lieu Fee Programs
A mitigation bank is a business venture in which a large wetland is restored to generate wetland credits for sale to developers or others who need to offset unavoidable impacts to waters of the state. An In-lieu fee (ILF) program may also sell mitigation credits for impacts, however this is generally accomplished through fees paid to an approved ILF sponser which are then used to develop an on the ground project within a certain time period.
 
Each bank and ILF project has a service area in which it may sell credits, subject to the approval of each removal-fill permit. State and federal regulatory agencies oversee bank and ILF project plans and release credits to the sponsor only after performance measures are met.
 
The bank owner or ILF sponsor must make arrangements to maintain and manage the projects in perpetuity.
 
DSL encourages the establishment of additional mitigation banks and ILF projects in areas where there is a large amount of development activity. The Portland metro region and the entire I-5 corridor currently have a high demand for mitigation.
 
Preferred sites provide the same type of wetlands as those that are in the path of development in the region. Good locations are sites adjacent or close to other protected natural-habitat areas such as refuges, river corridors and floodplains.
 
Banks and ILF project locations should not conflict with adjacent land uses, such as airport approach routes where increased bird use could pose a hazard to aircraft.
 
Establishing a mitigation bank  
 
Buying bank credits