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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Ecosystem Enhancement Program - Bank Programming Initiatives

Ecosystem Enhancement Program

BANK PROGRAMMING INITIATIVES

The passage of Session Law 2009-337 by the N.C. General Assembly promoted the use of mitigation banks and specified how governmental and private-sector developers may satisfy permit requirements. To further this concept, NCDENR is evaluating the availability of existing bank credits for possible purchase as part of its regular mitigation programming decisions.

The process is designed to ensure that high-quality, cost-effective mitigation is provided to meet the state’s needs and is expected to evolve over time. Banking firms will be asked to voluntarily provide certain information such as bank(s) status and credit availability.

EEP proposes to implement policies that consider bank-credit availability as a strategy for production. To do this, it is necessary to ensure that both programming and production are transparent, legal and in the best interest of the state. It is practicable to purchase credits from banks as opposed to implementing new projects through a design-bid-build process, involving the State Construction Office, because the credits are readily available and are approved by regulators. This initiative includes:

  • A procurement process that is open, transparent and competitive; and
  • Meeting the procurement processes of the state.

Objective:

When practicable and in the state’s best interest, EEP will seek to offer better opportunities for banks to participate in the program.

Expected Outcome:

The initiative is intended to ensure that functioning, high-quality, cost-effective compensatory mitigation is produced in the best interest of the state.

Conditions:

In order to better factor EEP programming for potential acquisition from existing banks in the future, banks choosing to take part in the program will be requested to provide essential information as noted below. With this information, EEP will consider purchase of bank credits as part of its regular mitigation programming. As before, credits to be procured must have specific characteristics and follow departmental and state procurement laws, rules and policies.
1) EEP will advertise procurement through its full-delivery process which incorporates a higher rating for released credits, when:
a) The banks are in targeted watersheds.
b) The cost for credits is in the best interest of the state.
c) The procurement does not compromise existing or ongoing procurement efforts.
d) The procurement enhances compliance and ecological lift.
2) Banks interested in selling credits to EEP will be asked to provide information such as available and anticipated credits, a non-binding range of expected sales prices, a copy of the approved instrument(s), service areas, site location by 14-digit watershed and any restricted conditions associated with the credits or the bank.
3) Petitions for sales directly to EEP or NCDENR are prohibited and could disqualify a bank from consideration in the program.

 

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