Offset Payment Process
Once the buy down calculation is complete, a developer needs to complete a nutrient reporting form for their project. This form (see link below) provides the local government with the information needed to determine the developer’s need and eligibility to purchase offsite nutrient credits. Please note that local governments are not required to use these specific forms, but are encouraged to use them or create their own forms that contain similar information. A sample authorization letter for local governments is also provided below:
Once submitted by the developer, the local government reviews the report information and decides whether the developer has met the requirements necessary to seek off-site offsets. If so, then the local government issues a letter to the developer authorizing that they are allowed to purchase offsite offsets.
Developers can offset the required nutrient loads themselves (either onsite or offsite) or seek a third-party offset provider such as the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP) or a nutrient bank to meet nutrient loading requirements. If the third party provider option is pursued, then the developer provides the nutrient offset provider the local government’s authorization letter with the amount of offset required for the project and watershed in which it is located
For developers seeking to use a third party provider, one must be selected in accordance with nutrient offset rules and statutes.
Once payment is made to the approved nutrient offset provider, a receipt is issued documenting the amount of offset credit purchased. In turn, that receipt is provided to the local government to demonstrate the developer's compliance with meeting the loading rate targets for the development site. The developer may then begin work on the project (provided he/she has met all other regulatory requirements).
In some instances, a developer seeking nutrient offset credits may not find a willing third-party provider of those credits. If that occurs, the developer remains obligated to meet the loading requirements for the project either through increased on site measures or through their own approved off-site nutrient reduction measures.
Payment Process Links