Regulatory Information

Compensatory Mitigation

Each year thousands of property owners undertake projects that affect the nation’s aquatic resources. Proposed projects that are determined to impact jurisdictional waters are first subject to review under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The objective of the CWA is “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.” Toward achievement of this goal, the CWA prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into wetlands, streams, and other waters of the United States unless a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under CWA Section 404 authorizes such a discharge.

The Corps of Engineers reviews these projects to ensure environmental impacts to aquatic resources are avoided or minimized as much as possible. Consistent with the administration’s goal of “no net loss of wetlands” a Corps permit may require a property owner to restore, establish, enhance or preserve other aquatic resources in order to replace those impacted by the proposed project. This compensatory mitigation process seeks to replace the loss of existing aquatic resource functions and area. The Corps is responsible for determining the appropriate form and amount of compensatory mitigation required. Methods of providing compensatory mitigation include aquatic resource restoration, establishment, enhancement, and in certain circumstances, preservation.
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Compensatory Mitigation Documents and Resources

 RIBITS- Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System 


RIBITS is an interactive web-based compensatory mitigation tracking system. RIBITS allows the public to find and track the status of USACE approved In-lieu Fee programs and Mitigation Banks in South Carolina. It provides up-to-date information about the availability of compensatory mitigation credits that may be purchased to offset adverse impacts that are authorized by Department of the Army permit. Please note that RIBITS is a national database and includes information about other types of Federal and State mitigation programs. In order to view information about stream and wetland mitigation in South Carolina you will need to select Charleston District from the list of USACE Districts on the RIBITS Home Page.


 Mitigation Banking Information and Documents

A mitigation bank is a site where resources (e.g., wetlands, streams, riparian areas) are restored, enhanced, and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation for impacts authorized by Department of the Army permits. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulates resources including wetlands and streams under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and in some cases Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The measure of aquatic functions is based on the resources restored, enhanced, or preserved.

Mitigation banking can play a significant role in the regulatory program administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Banking programs reduce uncertainty and delays for all parties involved and improve the success of compensatory mitigation and conservation efforts. Project proponents in need of "mitigation" to offset unavoidable authorized impacts to regulated resources may have the option of purchasing credits from an approved mitigation bank rather than restoring or preserving these resources on or near the development site. When authorized impacts are located within the service area of an approved mitigation bank and the bank has the appropriate number and resource type of credits available, the permittee's compensatory mitigation requirements may be met by acquiring those credits from the bank sponsor.

Mitigation banks require establishment of a formal agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the bank sponsor. The bank sponsor can be a government agency, a corporation, a private landowner, a nonprofit organization or a tribe that will undertake responsibility for the restoration or preservation activities associated with the bank. The value of a bank's resources is measured in credits, which are units of measure representing the attainment of aquatic resource function or services at the bank site.




 Service Area Maps

In coordination with the South Carolina Interagency Review Team (IRT), the Charleston District has developed a series of service area maps to assist mitigation bankers with their initial feasibility analysis for proposing new mitigation banks within the state.  When preparing a mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program prospectus/instrument, the Sponsor should include the appropriate service area map and a brief narrative of the geographic boundary (8-digit HUC and eco-region). 

IRT-Charleston District Service Area Maps Guidance

Blue Ridge Service Area Maps

Piedmont Service Area Maps

Upper Coastal Plain Service Area Maps

Lower Coastal Plain Service Area Maps

    Impaired Stream Before Restoration

      Impaired Stream During Restoration

        Impaired Stream After Restoration