Mitigation Bank Site Selection Criteria
There are specific favorable criteria used to evaluate a site’s potential for developing a successful mitigation bank. These desirable criteria include the following market and land-use considerations.
Mitigation Bank Criteria
While mitigation banks are encouraged, there are some restrictions and requirements for what area can be considered.
- High-growth watershed
- The area where credits are required, e.g., the state department of transportation road projects, military base expansion, reservoirs, landfills, etc.
- Potential bank sites must be wholly owned by the bank sponsor.
- Neighboring properties or infrastructure (e.g., existing roads, utility lines, impoundments, etc.) will not pose any adverse effect to the proposed bank site.
- The proposed bank site should have hydrology that can provide opportunities for restoring the hydrological disturbances at development sites. Lands with ditches, constructed waterways, tile drainage, levees, and other human-made structures often offer such opportunities.
- It contains impounded, channelized, or straightened streams in which natural channel form can be restored.
- It contains wetland or stream buffers in which vegetation consisting of planted pine monoculture, pasture grasses, or crops can be replaced with native species.
Potential bank sites are expected to meet all or most of the criteria above. Meeting the requirements will lower the cost of setting up the bank and increase landowners’ profit margin. Therefore, if you are a landowner who is considering having a mitigation bank, the potential bank locations should be suitable for wetlands and streams restoration. (Please note that the cost of setting up a mitigation bank has nothing to do with the size of your land. This is so because the cost of regulatory coordination needed for establishing a mitigation bank is almost always fixed.)