Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Eco-Logical Webinar
Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Presenter: Mike Ruth, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
Presenter: Lauren Diaz, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Presenter: Deblyn Mead, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Presenter: Keith Greer, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
Presenter: Marjorie Kirby and Xavier Pagan, Florida DOT (FDOT)

PDF Version [7 MB]


Table of Contents

Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches

Establishing a Mitigation Bank or In-Lieu Fee Program

Conservation Banking - Achieving Compensatory Mitigation Using an Eco-Logical Approach

Implementing Advance Mitigation

Florida Department of Transportation Approaches to Mitigation


Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches

Slide 1: Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches

Presenters:

  • Mike Ruth, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
  • Lauren Diaz, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Deblyn Mead, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Keith Greer, San Diego Association of Governments
  • Marjorie Kirby and Xavier Pagan, Florida DOT

September 1, 2015

Images: Logos of Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration
Image: Collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report

Slide 2: Steps to Ensure Optimal Webinar Connection

This webinar broadcasts audio over the phone line and through the web room, which can strain some internet connections. To prevent audio skipping or webinar delay we recommend participants:

  • Close all background programs
  • Use a wired internet connection, if possible
  • Do not us a Virtual Private Network (VPN), if possible
  • Mute their webroom audio (toggle is located at the top of webroom screen) and use phone audio only

Slide 3: What is Eco-Logical?

  • An ecosystem methodology for planning and developing infrastructure projects
  • Developed by eight Federal agency partners and four State DOTs
  • Collaboration between transportation, resource, and regulatory agencies to integrate their plans and identify environmental priorities across an ecosystem
  • For more information, visit the Eco-Logical Website

Images: Logos for the Bureau of Land Management, EPA, U.S. DOT, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Slide 4: The Integrated Eco-Logical Framework

  1. Build and strengthen collaborative partnerships
  2. Integrate natural environment plans
  3. Create a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF)
  4. Assess effects on conservation objectives
  • Partner
  • Share Data
  • Analyze Effects
  1. Establish and prioritize ecological actions
  2. Develop crediting strategy
  • Identify key sites and actions
  1. Develop programmatic consultation, biological opinion, or permit
  2. Implement agreements, adaptive management, and deliver projects
  3. Update REF
  • Document
  • Implement
  • Evaluate

Slide 5: Mitigation in the IEF (Integrated Ecological Framework) (REF)

  • REF (Step 3) is a cornerstone of the Eco-Logical approach
  • By integrating resource data with transportation data, the REF helps transportation and environmental agencies identify joint needs and priorities
  • Data in the REF is used to build a mitigation approach
    • Identify sites
    • Set priority sites
  • Mitigation approaches can help implement and organize the needs and priorities identified through the REF

Slide 6: Mitigation in the IEF (4-8)

  • Step 4: Assess effects on conservation objectives
  • Step 5: Establish and prioritize Eco-Logical actions
  • Step 6: Develop crediting strategy
  • Step 8: Implement actions, including mitigation

Image: Photo of a stream under a bridge

Slide 7: Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches Peer Exchanges

FHWA and AASHTO hosted two peer exchanges on programmatic mitigation as part of Implementing Eco-Logical Technical Assistance Activities:

  • State DOTs
    • March 11-12, 2015 at FHWA Headquarters
    • Participants:
      • California DOT, Colorado DOT, Florida DOT, and South Carolina DOT
  • MPOs
    • June 2-3, 2015 at the National Highway Institute
    • Participants:
      • East-West Gateway Council of Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

Images: Two photos, each one showing the peer exchange participants

Slide 8: Mitigation Definition

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR 1508.20) define mitigation as:

  • Avoiding an impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
  • Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;
  • Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;
  • Reducing the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;
  • Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.

Slide 9: Mitigation Options

  • Project-specific mitigation
  • Multiple-project mitigation
  • Ecosystem-based mitigation agreements

Image: Photo of a white egret standing on a rock

Slide 10: Multiple-project Mitigation

  • Mitigation banking
  • In-lieu fee mitigation
  • Conservation banking

Slide 11: Wildlife and Habitat Mitigation Examples

In the context of wildlife habitat replacement, mitigation might include:

  • Physical modification of replacement habitat to convert it to the type lost or a desired type;
  • Restoration or rehabilitation of previously altered habitat so that the value of the lost habitat is replaced;
  • Provision of wildlife linkage areas;
  • Improvement of water quality;
  • Replacement of off-site culverts; and
  • Increased management of replacement habitat so that the value of the impacted habitat is replaced.

Slide 12: Advanced Environmental Mitigation Requirements

Environmental mitigation activities are “intended to be regional in scope, and may not necessarily address potential project-level impacts.”
- 23 CFR 450.104

Image: Photo of a lush wetland with forested hills in the background

Slide 13: FHWA Policies

Regulations Guidance and Executive Order
  • 23 CFR 777 Mitigation of Impacts to Wetlands and Natural Habitat
  • Federal-aid Eligibility for Long-Term Management Activities in Wetland and Natural Habitat Mitigation (Oct 3, 2008)
  • Federal-aid Eligibility of Wetland and Natural Habitat Mitigation (March 10, 2005)
  • Executive Order 11990 - Protection of wetlands

Slide 14: Funding a Mitigation Program

  • Federal Funds are allowed to be used for mitigation programs
  • Can be totally State funded
  • Can be a public-private partnership

Image: Photo of a pond surrounded by lush greenery

Slide 15: Data and Tools to Manage Mitigation Sites

  • Infrared Photography
  • Aerial Photography
  • USDA Maps
  • NRCS Soil Surveys
  • USFWS National Wetland Inventory Maps
  • USGS Topographic maps
  • Conservations Maps
  • FEMA Firm Maps
  • Species Maps
  • Vegetation Cover maps
  • Forestry Surveys

Slide 16: Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches

Images: Logos of Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration
Image: Collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report


Establishing a Mitigation Bank or In-Lieu Fee Program

Slide 17: Establishing a Mitigation Bank or In-Lieu Fee (ILF) Program

Image: Photo of a calm river in a marshy flatland
Image: Photo of a wetland with majestic snow-capped mountains in the background
Image: Photo of a large, flat wetland regrowth plain covered with rows of recently planted native grass bundles

Slide 18: Interagency Review Team

  • Reviews establishment & operation of 3rd party mitigation
  • Federal, Tribal, State, and local resource agencies
  • Coordination required
  • Consensus is desired
  • Corps makes final decision
  • MOAs with Federal/State/local resource agencies to delegate tasks

Slide 19: Overview

  • Draft prospectus
  • Prospectus & Public Notice
  • Draft instrument
  • Final instrument

Image: Screenshot of the cover of the Mitigation Banking Instrument document from the Cheroenhaka Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank, dated February 2010

Slide 20: Action Items for the DOT/sponsor

Image: A chart describing action items and the number of days under each phase of Mitigation Bank approval. The process lists 4 phases ranging from 30 to 90 days.

Slide 21: Phase 1: Draft Prospectus

  • Preliminary review of draft prospectus
  • Optional but“…strongly recommended…”
  • Interagency Review Team (IRT) has opportunity to review
  • District Engineer (DE) provides comments to sponsor within 30 days

Image: A chart describing the event under Phase 1: Draft Prospectus of the mitigation bank approval process, which takes 30 days

Slide 22: Phase 2: Prospectus

Contents (§332.8(d)(2))

  1. Objectives
  2. How it will be established & operated
  3. Proposed service area
  4. Need & technical feasibility
  5. Ownership arrangements
  6. Qualifications

Image: Reproduction of the cover of the Varina Stream Mitigation Bank Prospectus document, dated October 2010

Slide 23: What does a complete prospectus include?

A complete prospectus includes:

  • Objectives of the proposed bank or in-lieu fee program
  • How the bank or ILF will be established and operated
  • The proposed service area(s)
  • The general need and technical feasibility of the proposed bank or ILF program
  • The proposed ownership arrangements and long-term management strategy for the bank or ILF project sites
  • Qualifications of the sponsor to successfully complete the types od mitigation projects proposed, including information on past activities

For a proposed mitigation bank, the prospectus must also address:

  • Ecological suitability of the site to achieve the objectives of the bank, incl. physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the site and how that site will support the planned types of aquatic resources and functions
  • Assurance of sufficient water rights to support long-term sustainability of the mitigation bank

For a proposed in-lieu fee program, the prospectus must also include:

  • The compensation planning framework, which will be used to select, secure, and implement aquatic resource compensatory mitigation activities. The compensation planning framework is discussed in greater detail at 33 CFR 332.8(c)/40 CFR 230.98(c).
  • A description of the in-lieu fee program account. The in-lieu program account is the repository for all the fees collected from permittees, earnings, and interests received by the in-lieu fee program from operation as method of compensatory mitigation. The establishment, operation, and use of the program account is discussed in greater detail at 33 CFR 332.8(1)/40 CFR 230.98(i).

Slide 24: A Complete Prospectus

For Bank and ILF Programs includes:

  1. Objectives
  2. How the Bank or ILF program will be established and operated
  3. Proposed service area
  4. Need and technical feasibility
  5. Ownership arrangements
  6. Qualifications

Image: Photo of a construction crew digging a ditch with an excavator

Slide 25: Prospectus (cont'd)

Banks must also include:

  • 7. Ecological suitability
  • 8. Assurance of sufficient water rights

ILFs must also include:

  • 7. Compensation planning framework
  • 8. Description of ILF program account

Image: Photo of a lush wetland in the fall - the grass has turned brown

Slide 26: Phase 2: Public Review and Comment

  • Public Notice Required
    • Complete Prospectus
    • Most modifications of approved instruments
  • Copies of comments provided to IRT & sponsor

Image: A chart describing the events under Phase 2: Public Review and Comment Draft Prospectus of the mitigation bank approval process, which takes 90 days

Slide 27: Initial evaluation of the prospectus provided to Sponsor

  • Written determination of potential suitability of proposed bank or ILF
  • If suitable, DE advises sponsor to begin preparing draft instrument
  • If not suitable, DE informs sponsor of reasons for that determination

Slide 28: Phase III

  • IRT review of draft instrument
  • USACE coordinates with IRT to resolve issues and provide feedback to DOT/Sponsor
  • DOT/Sponsor prepares final instrument in consideration of feedback received

Image: A chart describing the events under Phase 3 of the mitigation bank approval process, which takes 90 days

Slide 29: All 3rd party mitigation instruments include:

  • Service area(s)
  • Accounting procedures
  • Sponsor assumption of mitigation responsibility
  • Default and closure provisions
  • Reporting protocols
  • Other information deemed necessary

Slide 30: What does a complete draft instrument include?

Mitigation bank and in-lieu fee program instruments must include the following information:

  • Description of the proposed service area(s). Service areas may be based on the watershed, ecoregion, or physiographic province, and/or other geographic area in which the bank or in-lieu fee program is authorized to provide compensatory mitigation
  • Accounting procedures
  • Provision stating that legal responsibility for providing mitigation lies with the sponsor once a permittee secures credit from the sponsor
  • Default and closure provisions
  • Reporting protocols
  • Any other information deemed necessary by the district engineer

For a mitigation bank, a complete instrument must also include the following information (33 CFR 332.4(c)(2)-(14)/40 CFR 230.94(c)(2)-(14)):

  • Objectives
  • Site selection factors considered
  • Site protection instrument (conservation easement, declaration of restrictions, title transfer, etc.)
  • Baseline information - description of ecological characteristics of the proposed mitigation bank site
  • Description of number of credits to be provided
  • Mitigation work plan - detailed written specification and work descriptions for the mitigation bank site
  • Maintenance plan - description and schedule of maintenance requirements
  • Performance standards - ecologically-based standards used to determine whether the project is achieving its objectives
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Long-term management plan - description of mitigation site management after meeting all performance standards to insure long-term sustainability of the site
  • Adaptive management plan - a management strategy to address unforeseen changes in site conditions or other aspects of the project. It guides decisions for addressing circumstances that adversely affect a mitigation project
  • Financial assurances - a description of any financial assurances that will be provided to ensure that the mitigation project will be completed in accordance with its performance standards
  • A credit release schedule tied to achievement of specific milestones

For an in-lieu program, a complete instrument must include the following information:

  • Compensation planning framework (33 CFR 332.8(c)/40 CFR 230.98(c));
  • Specification of the amount of advance credits (33 CFR 332.8(n)/40 CFR 230.98(n) and the fee schedule for these credits;
  • Methodology for determining future project-specific credits and fees;
  • Description of the in-lieu program account (33 CFR 332.8(i)/40 CFR 230.98(i)).

Slide 31: Draft Instrument

Banks and ILFs must include:

  1. Service area
  2. Accounting procedures
  3. Provision stating legal liability
  4. Default and closure provisions
  5. Reporting protocols

Image: Photograph of a field and fence, including a solar panel

Slide 32: Draft Instrument (cont'd)

  • Bank instruments must include:
    • Mitigation plans (12 items)
    • Credit release schedule
  • ILF instruments must include:
    • Compensation planning framework
    • Advance credits
    • Fee schedule
    • Method for determining fees and credits
    • Description of in-lieu fee program account

Image: Photo of a wetland

Slide 33: Phase 4: Final Instrument

Contents

  • Core elements
    • 18 for final bank instruments (includes 12 elements for mitigation plans)
    • 10 for final ILF instruments
  • Supporting documentation addressing IRT comments
  • DE determines instrument approval

Image: A chart describing the events under Phase 4: Final Instrument of the mitigation bank approval process, which takes 45 days

Slide 34: What is USACE looking for?

  • Watershed approach for site selection - 332.3(c) & 332.8(b)(3)
  • Self-sustaining - 332.8(a)(2)
  • On public lands, environmental benefits over and above normal management activities - 332.3(a)(3)
  • Likelihood of success - 332.3(a)(2) and (b)(1)
  • Aquatic habitat diversity, habitat connectivity, relationships to hydrologic sources, trends in land use, ecological benefits, and compatibility with adjacent land uses - 332.3(b)(1)
  • Long term protection of the project - 332.7(a)
  • Long term management when appropriate - 332.7(d)

Conservation Banking - Achieving Compensatory Mitigation Using an Eco-Logical Approach

Many of the slide in this presentation are branded with the logo of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Slide 35: Conservation Banking - Achieving Compensatory Mitigation Using an Eco-Logical Approach

Deblyn Mead
National Conservation Banking Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
HQ - Falls Church, VA
deborah_mead@fws.gov

2 September 2015

Image: Map of the USA denoting 16 different regions, each represented by a different color
Image: US Fish and Wildlife Service's logo

Slide 36: What is a conservation bank?

  • Definition:
    • a site or suite of sites containing natural resource values that are conserved and managed in perpetuity for specified endangered, threatened, or other at-risk species and used to offset impacts occurring elsewhere to the same type of resource (i.e., in-kind, off-site compensatory mitigation)
  • Conservation banking programs are approved by USFWS and NOAA Fisheries (States may also have conservation banking programs)
  • Conservation banking and in-lieu fee programs are expected to provide a net conservation benefit for the species

Slide 37: Need for Landscape Level Approach

  • USFWS is looking for well sited, well protected, well managed, financially assured compensatory mitigation sites
  • Compensatory mitigation sites based on landscape level conservation plans and mitigation strategies
  • Consideration of accelerated climate change in siting of compensatory mitigation sites
  • Preference for compensatory mitigation in advance of impacts in reduce risk

Slide 38: How do conservation banks differ from wetland and stream mitigation banks?

  • Purposes
  • USFWS has policy based on regulations; USACE has regulations
  • Prospectus or less formal proposal is usually OK - depends on Field Office
  • No public review requirement for conservation banks
  • Conservation Banking Review Team (CBRT) - very similar to IRT
  • No mandated timelines
  • Must always be in-kind for the affected species (but not necessarily for habitat type)
  • Service areas usually based on Recovery Units
  • Crediting methodologies can be complex

Slide 39: Basic Requirements

  • Mitigation Site Protection
    • Perpetual conservation easement
    • Federal lands - conservation land use agreement
  • Management & Monitoring using an adaptive management approach
    • Long-term management plan
    • Measurable monitoring criteria and thresholds for action including a remediation process
    • Reporting
  • Financial Assurances
    • Short term (cover habitat construction, interim management, etc.)
    • Long term (endowment to perpetually fund implementation of the management plan, monitoring, and operation and maintenance of the bank)

Slide 40: Move to Joint Banks

  • What are joint banks:
  • Why joint banks?
    • holistic approach
    • more ecologically effective
    • more cost efficient
    • better serve the regulated community where regulated resources overlap
    • improved federal permitting, reduces regulatory burden
  • The FWS usually defers to the Corps' process for CWA-ESA banks
  • FWS becomes a co-chair with the Corps on the IRT
  • Multiple service areas for multiple resources
  • Stacking/bundling of credits OK - but unstacking of credits is not OK

Slide 41: Example: Kimball Island Mitigation Bank

Joint Conservation-Wetland Mitigation Bank
Both Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act credits available

Image: Photo of a stream in a lush wetland


Implementing Advance Mitigation

Many of the slides in this presentation are branded with the SANDAG logo and/or the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program.

Slide 42:

Keith Greer
September 1, 2015

Image: Photo of a large field covered with bright orange wildflowers
Image: Photo of a small pond surrounded by lush, varied vegetation
Image: Close-up photo of red wildflowers with a forested hill in the background

Slide 43: What is SANDAG?

  • MPO (original established in 1966). SANDAG is made up of the 18 cities and county government in San Diego and serves as the forum for regional decision-making.
  • RTA (1971). State designates SANDAG as the Regional Transportation Agency
  • State law (2002) consolidates financial programming, project design and development under SANDAG for transit development.
  • TransNet (½ cent local sale tax) to promote highways, transit, local roads and bicycles. First adopted in 1987 and reauthorized in 2004 by voters
  • Environmental Mitigation Program (2004) established for the advanced mitigation of regional transportation projects and local streets and roads.
    • $850 million dollars of $14 billion dollar TransNet program ($2002)

Slide 44: Background

  • San Diego County's endangered species “problem”
  • Perception that environmental mitigation is delaying infrastructure development
  • Securing biological mitigation sites case-by-case basis - costly and ineffective
  • San Diego long history of Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) planning

Image: Photo of a bird on a branch with a wildflower in the background

Slide 45: Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act (1991)

Image: Map of the region with a green outline of the area denoted under the Natural Communities Planning Act

Slide 46: Regional Habitat Preserve Planning Area

Image: GIS Map of the Natural Communities Planning Act area noting habitat preserve planning area in dark green, natural habitats in light green, and developed, disturbed, and agricultural land in purple.

Slide 47: Adopted Regional Transportation Network

Image: Map of the San Diego, California metropolitan area marked with red lines (Transit), light blue lines (Mananaged/HOV Lanes), navy blue lines (General Purpose Lanes), yellow circles (Freeway Connectors), and light blue circles (HOV Connectors)

Slide 48: Regional Habitat Preserve Planning Area With Mobility Network

Image: Composite map showing the maps in Slides 46 and 47 overlaid together

Slide 49:

Large scale acquisition and management   →   Reduced cost, Accelerated delivery, Implement habitat plans, ↓Listing of species

Image: Photo of a green hill slope with other green hills in the background
Image: Photo of the construction of a bridge

Slide 50: TransNet Extension EMP (Environmental Mitigation Program)

“The intent is to establish a program to provide for large-scale acquisition and management of critical habitat areas and to create a reliable approach for funding required mitigation for future transportation improvements thereby reducing future costs and accelerating project delivery. This approach would be implemented by obtaining coverage for transportation projects through existing and proposed multiple species conservation plans. (Section D)”

Slide 51: Promoting Advance Mitigation

Image: A timeline showing four dates, each with the reproduction of a document cover from that year: 2005 (Early Mitigation for Net Environment Benefit), 2006 (Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects), 2012 (Regional Advanced Planning in California), and (2014 (Statewide Advanced Mitigation Funding and Financial Strategies' Task 3 Report: The Case for Advance Mitigation in California)

Slide 52: Environmental Mitigation Program Costs

Image: Pie chart from TransNet Extension Ordinance Section D with two pie slices: Major Highway & Transit Project Mitigation ($600 million) and Local Transportation Project Mitigation ($250 million). The total program is $850 million, 6.2% of Transnet annual net revenue. All numbers are in 2002 dollars.

Slide 53: Environmental Mitigation Program Costs

Plus up to $30 million in financing costs for advanced habitat acquisition and $82 million in intra-program borrowing

TransNet Extension Ordinance EMP Principles

Image: Pie chart from the previous slide which has two additional slices ($150 million and $50 million) which together are labeled “Regional Habitat Conservation Fund.”

Slide 54: Status of EMP 2015

  • 32 properties
  • 3,472 acres
  • Restoration 300 acres
  • $113 million TransNet funds
  • $17.4 million matching funds

Image: Map of the San Diego metropolitan area marked with green circles to indicate TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program locations

Slide 55: Status of EMP Mitigation 2015

Image: Photo of red wildflowers with Sage Hill, Elfin Forest in the background
Image: Photo of a Tijuana River Valley natural habitat that is fenced off and marked with a sign stating that area is an environmentally sensitive area and to keep out
Image: Photo of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Slide 56: 2003, 2007 & 2014 Wildfires

Regional Monitoring and Land Management

Image: Photo, along a highway, of the 2007 Poomacha fire

Slide 57: Regional Monitoring and Land Management: Habitat Conservation Fund

Images: Four photos overlaid a photo of a natural habitat: a field of orange wildflowers (labeled Habitat Recovery), a cougar (labeled Wildlife Movement), a man bending down (labeled Exotic Species - the exotic species in the photo is hidden by the photo overlaid on top of it), and a colorful, speckled bird atop a cactus (labeled Species Recovery)

Slide 58: Preliminary Metrics of Success

Ten-Year Comprehensive Program Review (2018)

  • Reduced Mitigation Cost
  • Reduce Listing of Species
  • Implement Habitat Plans
  • Accelerated Project Delivery

Slide 59: Reduce Mitigation Cost

Image: TransNet EMP Land Acquisitions line graph timeline from 11/1/2002 to 2015 plotting the Case-Shiller Index and marked to show the TransNet Extension was adopted in 2005 during the real estate bubble expansion (Case-Shiller: 1.75) and that TransNet EMP Acquisitons began in 2008 after the bubble had burst (Case-Shiller: 1.4). The chart is labeled with average cost per acre: $31,236 and estimated cost per acre: $60,000.

Slide 60: Reduce Listing of Species

Image: Vertical bar chart timeline listing the endangered Federal species in San Diego County from 11/1/2002 to 2015. There are five arrows indicating milestones: 1992 (Listing of CA gnatcatcher), 1997 (First Adopted MSCP (Multiple Species Conservation Program) adopted), 2004 (TransNet Ordinance Approved), 2008 (First EMP Acquisitions), and 2010 (Hemes Copper Butterfly Proposed for Listing). The chart is also marked to show the occurrence of massive wildfires in 2003, 2007, and 2014.

Slide 61: Reduce Listing of Species

Image: Vertical bar chart timeline from 11/1/2002 to 2015 comparing listings of endangered species in San Diego County to those in the U.S. There are four arrows indicating milestones: 1992 (Listing of CA gnatcatcher), 1997 (First Adopted MSCP adopted), 2004 (TransNet Ordinance Approved), and 2008 (First EMP Acquisitions). There were San Diego County listings up to 1998 and then in 2002, but none thereafter.

Slide 62: Implement Habitat Conservation Plans

  • Dark green circles are acquisitions under EMP
  • Light green polygons are areas within regional Habitat Conservation Plan Areas
  • State and federal wildlife agencies confirm in writing that the acquisition promotes HCP and will be acceptable for future mitigation of transportation projects.
  • $40 million of EMP funds will go toward regional management and monitoring over 10 years under piot program

Image: Map of San Diego County marked as listed in the text above

Slide 63: Accelerate Project Delivery

  • To date 12 projects have received all their permits
  • How it takes to get a project to receive all its permits?
    There are lots of variables: Size and complexity of project, availability of funding, politics, etc.…
  • Many projects have jointly mitigated with same property, saving time on appraisals and review by wildlife agencies
  • Premature to draw a conclusions
  • More work is needed as part of 10-year review, but…

Slide 64: Is There a Business Case for Advance Mitigation?

  1. Available evidence provides optimism that advance mitigation could lead to financial and time savings.
  2. Cautious optimism is advised. To definitively measure possible cost savings involves significant methodological challenge. It's easier to be confident about the potential for than about the magnitude of potential savings.
  3. Advance purchase of mitigation land is a promising approach to advance mitigation in CA. Yet, real estate markets can be quirky.

Lead Researcher: Gian-Claudia Sciara, PhD, AICP

Image: Logo of the University of California (UC), Davis' Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS)

Slide 65: Final Thoughts

  • I have a solid belief that advance mitigation is the most effective and efficient way of providing project delivery from both a cost and time standpoint, and provides other critical ancillary benefits.
  • I do not have the data to support this belief, but we should in a few years.
  • SANDAG is tasked by Feb 2018 to comprehensive evaluate the EMP and make an assessment of the cost saving and benefits of advanced mitigation.
  • Advanced mitigation programs need to be tailored to the user's economic, social and political realities

For more information: keepsandiegomoving.com

Image: Composite graphic that includes the title “Environmental Mitigation Program,” TransNet's “Keep San Diego Moving” logo, and a photo of a white egret standing at the edge of a wetland along the edge of a road

Slide 66: Mid-coast Case Study

$1.72 billion extension Agency's top project FED completed…
when endangered fairy shrimp found in rut within rail alignment.

Image: Photo of an Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) light transit vehicle
Image: Photo of an endangered fairy shrimp in the palm of a man's hand

Slide 67: Mid-coast Case Study

“Fairy shrimp could delay $2 billion dollar trolley expansion by a year or more”

  • November 11, 2008 - SANDAG bought 43 acres for future vernal pool mitigation
  • April 30, 2014 - SANDAG notifies USFWS regarding impacts to fairy shrimp
  • May 6, 2014 - USFWS agrees that SANDAG can mitigate within 43 acre site

“1 week between notification and verbal approval of mitigation”

Image: Screenshot headline of an online article posted on May 10, 2014: “Shrimp Could Delay Review For Trolley: Animal's presence near planned extension will require extra attention”


Florida Department of Transportation Approaches to Mitigation

Many of the slides in this presentation are branded with the FDOT Centennial logo.

Slide 68: Florida Department of Transportation Approaches to Mitigation

SHRP-2 Eco-Logical Mitigation Approaches Webinar
September 1, 2015

Image: Photo of a white egret standing among cypress trees in a swamp
Image: Photo of a rural wetland
Image: Photo of a bridge with a wildlife underpass

Slide 69: Outline

  • Florida's data rich environment (Step 1)
  • Wetlands
    • Florida Statute (Step 3-6)
    • Coordination and Implementation (Step 1-4)
    • Regional General Permit
  • Species and Habitat
  • Project Implementation
    • Planning phase - Mitigation opportunities (Step 2)
    • Project Development & Environment phase - Coordination/consultation (Step 8)
    • NEPA - Conceptual mitigation
    • Design - Final mitigation, Permitting (Step 8)
    • Construction - Compliance

Slide 70: Data, data, data…

  • Florida Geographic Data Library (FGDL) http://www.fgdl.org
    • GIS data collected from various state, federal, and other agencies
    • Source of layers for the FDOT Environmental Screening Tool (EST)
  • Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) http://fnai.org/clip.cfm
    • GIS database of statewide conservation priorities for natural resources
  • Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) http://peninsularfloridalcc.org/
    • Federal, state & local agencies, NGOs, etc.

Image: Map of Florida, color-coded in five shades of green to show levels of Aggregated Resource Priorities
Image: Map of Florida

Slide 71: Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, Water Resources

  • Part I - State Water Resource Plan
  • Part II - Permitting of Consumptive Uses of Water
  • Part III - Regulation of Wells
  • Part IV - Management and Storage of Surface Waters
  • Part V - Finance and Taxation
  • Part VI - Miscellaneous Provisions
  • Part VII - Water Supply Policy, Planning, Production, and Funding

Slide 72: Part IV - Management and Storage of Surface Waters

Includes:

  • Additional Criteria for Activities in Surface Waters (s. 373.414)
  • Statewide Environmental Resource Permit (s. 373.4131)
  • Requirements of mitigation banks (s. 373.4135)
  • Establishment and operation of mitigation banks (bank instrument permits) (s. 373.4136)
  • Mitigation requirements for specified transportation projects (s. 373.4137)

Slide 73: 373.4137, Mitigation requirements for specified transportation projects

  • Codified in 1996
  • Regional approach to mitigation rather than postage stamp
  • FDOT must mitigate for project impacts to wetlands by funding Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and 5 Water Management Districts (WMDs) implemented mitigation
  • Mitigation based on impact acres rather than wetland function
  • Mitigation developed for 3 years of the FDOT Work Program - Project Inventory
  • WMDs develop annual mitigation plans
  • WMD driven process

Slide 74: Public/Private Partnership

  • Challenges to statutory approach raised by 2008 Wetland Mitigation Rule
  • FDOT coordinated an approach with FDEP, WMDs and Mitigation Bankers to make statute current
  • Clear, concise and consistent statewide application
  • Open communication and coordination to ensure smooth development implementation of amendment
  • Agency liaisons stay on project throughout the process
  • Fully accountable process with defined milestones

Image: Logos of the following agencies: FDOT, Florida Department of Enviromental Protection, Northwest Florida Water Management District, Suwannee River Water Management District, St. John's River Water Management District, Southwest Florida Water Management District, South Florida Water Management District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Florida Association of Mitigtation Bankers

Slide 75: New s. 373.4137

  • Enrolled May 2014, effective July 1, 2014
  • FDOT can use any mitigation option meeting state and federal requirements
  • Mitigation based on resulting wetland functional loss
  • Florida's Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) [ss. 373.414(18)] described in Florida Administrative Code, Rule Chapter 62-345 - http://www.dep.state.fl.us/Water/wetlands/mitigation/umam/index.htm
  • Functional loss = credits
  • Advance mitigation through mitigation banks
  • Coordinated process - FDEP, WMDs, mitigation banks and Army Corps
  • FDOT leads process incorporated into Planning and NEPA

Slide 76: Species and Habitat

  • Coordinated approach
  • Substantial agency partnerships
  • Leverages and improves existing FDOT processes
  • Expedites project delivery

Image: Photo of a turtle emerging from a hole in the sand
Image: Photo of a small mouse nibbling a leaf
Image: Photo of camera equipment set up in an under-bridge wildlife crossing during winter

Slide 77: Agency Liaisons

  • Determined via interagency agreement
  • NMFS - Currently two liaisons
  • FWC - Currently two liaisons
  • USFWS - Currently three liaisons
    • New agreement calls for five liaisons

Image: Underwater photo of two manatees facing the camera
Image: Photo of a mountain lion sitting in a forest
Image: Photo of a bear walking in an under-bridge wildlife crossing during winter at night

Slide 78: USFWS Liaisons

  • Liaisons in all three offices
    • Panama City
    • Jacksonville
    • Vero Beach
  • NEW: one liaison dedicated to the development of Programmatic Agreements/approaches as well as training for FDOT
  • NEW: one liaison dedicated to assist the other three with work load

Slide 79: Approaches

  • Constant and consistent agency communications
  • Implementing aggressive scoping strategies leveraging existing FDOT processes and staff
  • Developing strategies with agencies to better asses impacts and mitigation
    • Currently working with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in the use the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) to determine functionality of habitat and appropriate science-based mitigation

Slide 80: Wildlife Crossing Guidelines

  • Considerations:
    • Capacity improvement, add travel lanes
    • Science based
    • Look for financial partnerships
    • Road kills in the area
    • Public lands or perpetual conservation easement on both sides
    • Private property access maintained
  • Guidelines are currently under review

Image: Photo of an under-bridge wildlife crossing during the summertime
Image: Photo of a different under-bridge wildlife crossing in the wintertime

Slide 81: Planning phase

  • Coordination with agencies at management and project level
  • Environmental screening
  • Florida has 27 MPO/TPO
  • Actionable agency commentary
  • Identification of wetland and species mitigation opportunities
  • Statute ensures wetland mitigation is considered and funded (TIPs) during plan development

Slide 82: Project Development Process

  • Screening information used to develop project scope
  • Identified opportunities for mitigation are carried forward and refined to options
  • Initial functional assessment (UMAM) to determine amount of mitigation projected
  • Coordination with agencies to refine mitigation options - commitments?
  • Potential for advance mitigation credit purchase from banks
  • Agreement from agencies with Army Corps, WMDs, USFWS, NMFS…

Image: Photo of orange water lilies in bloom on the surface of a pond. The image is labeled RIBITS: Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System.
Image: Map of Florida, with areas shaded to highlight Mitigation Banks and Mitigation Bank Service Areas

Slide 83: Regional General Permit SAJ-92

  • For screened projects and those that completed state project development process or NEPA document
  • Linear transportation projects
  • Exclusions
    • Tidal waters (all of Monroe County, aka Florida Keys)
    • New alignments
    • Jeopardy opinions under ESA
  • 5 acres of wetland impacts per mile of project length up to 10 mile long project
  • Mitigation completed via s. 373.4137

Slide 84: Design and Permitting

  • Final functional assessment performed
  • Jurisdictional determinations
  • Permit coordination with same representatives that have been looking at the project since planning phase
  • Final mitigation identified and can be implemented
    • If mitigation bank, FDOT purchases
    • By the time construction arrives it's well on its way to being on the ground

Slide 85: Summary

  • Coordinated approach
  • Opportunities to Options to On the Ground
  • Public/Private Partnership
  • Supported by state law
  • Leverages and improves existing FDOT processes
  • Integrates federal requirements
  • Expedites project delivery

Slide 86: Florida Department of Transportation

Marjorie Kirby
State Environmental Programs
Administrator
State Environmental Management Office
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street, MS-37
Tallahassee, FL 32399
marjorie.kirby@dot.state.fl.us
(850) 414-5209

Xavier Pagán
Natural & Community Resources
Administrator
State Environmental Management Office
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street, MS-37
Tallahassee, FL 32399
xavier.pagan@dot.state.fl.us
(850) 414-5260

Image: Photo, labeled “Thank you!,” of an alligator lying on a large rock
Image: Photo of a bridge designed for maximum under-bridge wildlife crossing capacity
Image: Photo of a Platt Branch Mitigation Park sign
Image: Photo of a white egret standing in greenery along a river's edge

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