Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mitigation effort creates new wetlands land bank in Solano County

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Land in the Bank
Mitigation effort creates new wetlands
By Erin Pursell/Staff Writer
Article Launched:12/04/2006 06:21:37 AM PST
Developers have a new, efficient and economical option for easing the impacts their projects have on wetland areas.

Wetland mitigation banks - which allow developers to purchase credits to re-create natural areas they impact - are on the rise in Solano County, where wetlands are scattered across the landscape in abundance.

In regard to the permitting process, 'It looks at the specifics of impacts of new development on surrounding land,' said Erin Beavers, assistant director of planning and development for Fairfield, noting the density of wetland areas throughout the county.

'Depending on your outlook, we're either blessed or cursed.'

Developers are required to create more wetlands than they impact so that there is no net loss.

The current process involves getting a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill the wetlands and obtaining certification from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to validate that permit.

The entire process can take years, according to Beavers.

The banks - high-quality preserved and constructed wetlands on large tracts of land - not only streamline the process by handling environmental permitting and mitigation for th"

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