FY 2010-11 NUTRIENT OFFSET PROGRAM STATUS (FUND 2982-9829) Financial Definitions
Nutrient Offset Program (Fund 2982-9829):
The Nutrient Offset Program collects payments and makes expenditures from the state’s Nutrient Offset Account. It has been in existence for the Neuse River basin since 1998, but in March 2006 the Tar-Pamlico River basin was added. The Falls Lake and Jordan Lake watersheds are also currently being added as nutrient-program areas. Like all of EEP’s other mitigation programs, this program is a voluntary program that provides an option to the regulated community.
Applicants seeking permits for construction-related impacts to upland areas may elect to undertake additional onsite measures to meet nutrient-reduction requirements, purchase nutrient reductions from a private mitigation bank, or pay a fee to EEP to satisfy their nutrient loading requirements. (Note: Session Law 2009-337 established that nongovernmental entities may not elect to use EEP’s Nutrient Offset Program if mitigation banking credits are available.)
The types of projects produced by EEP may consist of BMPs (e.g., stormwater retention structures and stormwater wetland projects) or vegetated buffers that will reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading into river basins. The program's expenditures include the costs associated with mitigation production (contract engineering, construction, land acquisition and long-term protection of mitigation sites) and the administrative costs of implementing the program. The availability of this program helps the general public by providing a service that is cost-effective and simplifies the permitting processes.
The Nutrient Offset program, as with all of EEP's in-lieu fee programs, receives no appropriations and is a self-sustaining program that operates solely on receipts.