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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Ecosystem Enhancement Program - Agreements, Rules & Laws

Ecosystem Enhancement Program

 

EEP

 

In collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EEP hosted a Webinar on Dec. 16, 2009 to review the draft instrument developed to gain EEP compliance with the new federal mitigation rule (click on image to download the PowerPoint presentation).

     AGREEMENTS, RULES & LAWS

The In-Lieu Fee (ILF) programs administered by the Ecosystem Enhancement Program are governed by multiple legal and administrative documents that define how the programs are to be managed. Information on and links to these documents are contained within this subsection of EEP’s website.

LAWS

Federal Laws

Compensatory-mitigation requirements are connected to the federal Clean Water Act. Development activities must be planned in such a way that they avoid impacts to aquatic resources. Impacts that cannot be avoided must be minimized. Finally, impacts that cannot be minimized must be compensated for by restoring, enhancing or protecting a similar resource within a specified geographic area (i.e., compensatory mitigation).
 

State Laws

The following laws (under G.S. 143-214.8-143-214) established the Wetlands Restoration Program (EEP’s predecessor) in the mid-1990’s. EEP remains governed by these laws.

•  143-214.8    - Program Establishment 
•  143-214.9    -
Program Purpose 
•  143-214.10  -
Development and Implementation of Basinwide Restoration Plans
•  143-214.11  -
Compensatory Mitigation
•  143-214.12  -
Ecosystem Restoration Fund 
•  143-214.13  -
Reporting Requirement  

Recent Legislation:  Session Law 2009-337 modified laws governing all of EEP’s ILF programs (streams and wetlands; riparian buffer; nutrient offset) to require that non-governmental entities purchase credits from mitigation banks when seeking third-party mitigation and such credits are available. Session Law 2011-343 broadened the applicability of SL 2009-337 to require most local government entities seeking mitigation credits to purchase bank credits when they are available. Through a collaborative effort by EEP and the N.C. Division of Water Quality, NCDENR updated policies effective July 1, 2011 to implement the modifications.  In addition, EEP has published a policy describing how the program will implement Section 1.2 of Session Law 2011-343.

Buffer Program: The following laws are related to the buffer mitigation program (note that S.L. 2009-337 influenced 143-214.20):
 

Nutrient Offset Program:  A series of session laws were passed after regulatory fees were increased in 2006. The revised fees were suspended by S.L. 2006-215. Two session laws followed that affected how fees are set for voluntary payments made to the Nutrient Offset Program:

•  S.L. 2007-438 spells out requirements for the Nutrient Offset Program payments.
•  
S.L. 2009-484 extends the deadline for one of the requirements of S.L. 2007-438.

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