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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Ohio Field Office and Partner Agencies Begin Development of Stream Mitigation Banking Guidelines

Region 3, August 24, 2012

The Ohio Interagency Review Team, composed of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service, recently released “Guidelines for Wetland Mitigation Banking in Ohio,” which clarified important components of successful wetland mitigation banks in the state. Building on the concept of consistent guidance for compensatory mitigation of aquatic resource impacts, the Ohio IRT is now developing guidelines for stream mitigation banking in the state, including a credit and debit calculation system that will ensure appropriate compensation for unavoidable stream impacts authorized by Clean Water Act permits (sections 404 and 401).


Compensatory stream mitigation requirements in Ohio have historically been determined on a case-by-case basis using best professional judgment, and commonly consisted of preserving existing streams. However, stream preservation does not directly replace lost functions and services of impacted streams. Developing consistent mitigation protocols is difficult given the complex nature of stream systems, but is very important in ensuring that functions and services lost through impacts authorized by Clean Water Act permits are replaced. To this end, the Ohio IRT is working to incorporate the best components of several existing stream mitigation models into a model that will ensure adequate replacement of stream functions in Ohio. The final mitigation guidelines will also ensure a predictable and streamlined approach to stream mitigation in the state. The Ohio Field Office values its successful partnership with the Ohio IRT agencies and the opportunity to help ensure that stream mitigation in Ohio conserves, protects and enhances fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov