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Environment

Appendix C


GDOT State-Wide Umbrella Mitigation Bank
Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument
Bank Site Procedures
June 30, 2003

Pre-Application Prospectus/Site Specific Mitigation Plan/GUMBI Addendum

To facilitate the processing of Bank Sites from pre-application through "close-out", procedures to be followed by GDOT and Bank Site Mitigation Banking Review Teams (MBRTs) have been developed as part of this agreement. These procedures are incorporated by reference to GDOT State-Wide Umbrella Mitigation Bank Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument (GUMBI). Amendments to this Appendix will be subject to the GUMBI amendment procedures (Appendix A of GUMBI).

Pre-Application Prospectus

A Pre-Application Prospectus will be prepared by GDOT and submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for review and comment for each Bank Site proposed as part of the Umbrella Bank. The Pre-Application Prospectus generally shall include site specific information such as outlined in the MBRT guidance and including targeted reference site information, if available, and status of the land exchange to or control by GDOT. The Pre-Application Prospectus will contain information typically required in order for the Corps to determine that establishment of a Bank Site MBRT is appropriate and subsequently the composition of the Bank Site MBRT members and technical advisors.

Upon establishment of a Bank Site MBRT, the Corps will forward copies of the Pre-application Prospectus to the Bank Site MBRT team members and technical advisors. A pre-application conference will be conducted and coordinated by the Corps. The Corps shall use its best effort to schedule a pre-application meeting within 60 days of receipt of a Pre-application Prospectus. When desired by the Bank Site MBRT, a pre-application site visit will then be conducted either as part of the pre-application conference or thereafter.

A Pre-Application Prospectus may typically contain the following components:

  • Detailed discussion of the goals and objectives of the Bank Site;
  • Site conditions and location;
  • Current zoning and zoning for adjacent properties;
  • The physiographic province, river basin, watershed, United States Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologic unit of the proposed Bank Site;
  • Ownership of the Bank Site lands and status of land exchange/control by GDOT;
  • Proposed geographic service area;
  • An estimate of total existing and proposed acreage/linear footage of each type of mitigation proposed based on SOP credit generation or other MBRT functional unit disclosure;
  • Reference site location information, if available;
  • Description of existing water quality characteristics and how they may be improved or enhanced through specific mitigation measures;
  • Description of existing aquatic habitat and species characteristics and how mitigation efforts will improve these characteristics;
  • Proposed preliminary concept plan and/or feasibility study (if complete/available);
  • Proposed preliminary credit release schedule;
  • Any proposed changes that may be required for the GUMBI Addendum.

It is understood that due to the varied types of potential Bank Sites (wetlands, streams, restoration, creation, enhancement, preservation) that may be proposed for inclusion in the Umbrella Bank, different levels of details and the types of information listed above will be submitted.

Pre-Application Meeting

Pre-application meetings are anticipated for each Bank Site. An initial pre-application meeting is anticipated between GDOT and Corps to review a Pre-Application Prospectus (and/or Feasibility Study) and determine its worthiness of establishing an MBRT. A second pre-application meeting may be anticipated with the assigned Bank Site MBRT once Corps concurs on the potential for the Bank Site. The Corps can waive a pre-application meeting, should the determination be made by the Corps that the Pre-Application Prospectus was sufficient.

Pre-application meetings are intended to coincide with the various meetings between GDOT and the agencies. The pre-application meeting will consist of a presentation of the proposed Bank Site and a review of the Pre-application prospectus. Three potential results are expected from the meetings:

  1. The MBRT indicates that more information is needed to make a determination
  2. The MBRT indicates the Bank Site has sufficient merit to proceed with a Site Specific Mitigation Plan and continued coordination between the parties.
  3. The MBRT determines the site does not have technical merit, and recommends against further discussion. GDOT has the option to submit additional information or revise the Pre-application prospectus should the MBRT make decision 1) or 3) above.

A site visit by the MBRT is expected for each Bank Site. GDOT will attempt to coordinate site visits for Bank Sites with other GDOT sites requiring MBRT agency member participation. Wherever possible, the site visit will be conducted concurrently with the pre-application meeting.

The Bank Site MBRT will make its best effort to notify GDOT within 60 days of the pre-application meeting of its findings.

Site Specific Mitigation Plan/GUMBI Addendum

Subsequently, upon concurrence by the Bank Site MBRT that the Bank Site has potential that warrants further MBRT review, a Site Specific Mitigation Plan and GUMBI Addendum incorporating comments, as appropriate, received on the Pre-Application Prospectus and pre-application site visit, shall be submitted to the Bank Site MBRT for review and approval for each wetland and/or stream Bank Site proposed as part of the Umbrella Bank. The Bank Site MBRT shall use its best efforts to review and comment on all submittals within 60 days of receipt of such submittal, provided the Bank Site MBRT has had the opportunity to provide comment on a Pre-application Prospectus for that Bank Site and conducted a site visit.

The Site Specific Mitigation Plan may typically include information such as:

  • Detailed discussion of the goals and objectives of the Bank Site;
  • Site conditions and location;
  • The physiographic province, river basin, watershed, United States Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologic unit of the proposed Bank Site;
  • Ownership of the Bank Site lands;
  • An estimate of total existing and proposed acreage/linear footage of each type of mitigation proposed based on SOP credit generation or other MBRT functional unit disclosure;
  • Descriptions of existing water quality characteristics and how each may be improved or enhanced through specific mitigation measures;
  • Descriptions of existing aquatic habitat and species characteristics and how mitigation efforts will improve these characteristics;
  • Reference site information including ecologically based success criteria for hydrology and vegetation;
  • Wildlife species utilizing the existing habitat and how mitigation may improve this habitat;
  • Methods for quantifying the improvements proposed, existing and proposed upland buffers;
  • Any man-made disturbances and how those disturbances may be mitigated;
  • Adjacent land uses;
  • Mitigation conceptual or preliminary design plans from Pre-application;
  • Detailed site plans including site preparation, construction schedule, planting plan including species, and planting schedule;
  • Land control status/mechanisms;
  • Preservation mechanisms;
  • Credit ratios;
  • Ecologically based success criteria;
  • Geographic service areas;
  • Phasing, accounting, monitoring plan, long-term maintenance provisions.

An GUMBI Addendum will be prepared for each Bank Site. A GUMBI Addendum will generally contain the following information:

  • Reference to the master GUMBI agreement (most current version) and incorporation by reference of all sections of that agreement.
  • Site specific amendments to the GUMBI referenced by Section.

A standard format including the minimum information required in a GUMBI Addendum is included as Attachment 1 to this document (Attachment 1 to be prepared once the GUMBI language agreed to and finalized so language is consistent).

The Bank Site MBRT shall use its best efforts to review and comment on all submittals of GUMBI Addendums within 60 days of receipt of such submittal, provided the Bank Site MBRT has had the opportunity to provide comment on a Pre-application Prospectus for that Bank Site and conducted a site visit. It is the intent of both parties that efforts will be made to respond as quickly as possible.

In the event a Site Specific Mitigation Plan or GUMBI Addendum is not approved, the Bank Site MBRT shall provide GDOT with specific reasons or rationale for not approving the Bank Site. Subsequently, GDOT may resubmit the Site Specific Mitigation Plan and/or GUMBI Addendum with specific modification or justification that addresses the Bank Site MBRT concerns. In the event of approval, the Bank Site shall be deemed a portion of the Umbrella Bank and credits shall be released ,consistent with the standard schedule of credit availability in the GUMBI or as amended in the GUMBI Addendum.

Bank Site MBRT members shall provide comments to Corps and GDOT regarding Site Specific Mitigation Plans and GUMBI Addendums. The Corps shall provide written confirmation to GDOT that the MBRT agencies and Corps have approved a Site Specific Mitigation Plan and/or GUMBI Addendum.

Each Site Specific Mitigation Plan and GUMBI Addendum will conform to the standards or guidelines established for mitigation banks in place at the time of submission.

As-Builts

GDOT shall use its best effort to submit an as-built report for each Bank Site or phase of a Bank Site within 60 days following receipt of the completed as-built survey of the Bank Site needed to establish the Bank Site or phase of the Bank Site. The intent is to have the contractor complete and GDOT submit the as-built report as soon as possible. The as-built report will describe in detail how the Bank Site or phase of a Bank Site met the objectives and, if not, any deviations from those described in the Site Specific Mitigation Plan. The as-built plan shall include a plan showing finished grades, structures, surface and groundwater elevations, and easement widths, as appropriate. Should no deviations occur from the original plans, GDOT may waive this requirement, subject to review and approval of the Bank Site MBRT. This as-built report will be prepared only once, unless remedial actions are necessary and then GDOT will prepare an as-built report for any areas changed from the original as-built report as a result of remedial operations/actions. The as-built plan is not intended to demonstrate vegetation communities. The success of establishment of vegetation communities will be documented through monitoring reports annually.

Monitoring

GDOT agrees to perform all necessary work to monitor the Bank Sites (and if appropriate, phases of Bank Sites) and to demonstrate compliance with the Success Criteria established in this GUMBI and the Site Specific Mitigation Plan(s)/GUMBI Addendum(s). Success Criteria will typically be based on MBRT guidance, and future revisions to the guidance, provided by member agencies of the MBRT and those outlined in the Site Specific Mitigation Plans. Monitoring goals and schedules based on the monitoring criteria outlined in the most recent Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), or other methods as agreed by the parties to this agreement at the time the Site Specific Mitigation Plan was developed, will be developed and submitted for each GUMBI Addendum to the Umbrella Bank, and may include for a Bank Site and reference sites where appropriate for the type of mitigation, components that provide an indication of conformity to success criteria. Such components of monitoring shall be made at a level of detail and frequency to provide a good comparison with those made at the reference sites. The reports will indicate whether remedial action or adaptive management is necessary for a Bank Site.

Monitoring will be conducted for 5 years (growing seasons) unless otherwise indicated in future GUMBI Addendums. Monitoring is not intended to be completed as a condition of this agreement beyond official notification by Corps that the Bank Site can be "closed-out". Monitoring beyond the 5 years may be required should success criteria not be met or should GDOT desire to pursue additional credits for "interest" gained on the Bank Site pursuant to pending federal guidance. Monitoring will be consistent with procedures for "close-out" included with this agreement (Appendix C). Sponsor shall use its best effort to provide monitoring reports to the Corps within 60 days of completion of reports for distribution to members of the MBRT. The agencies shall use their best effort to review and confirm their evaluation of monitoring reports within 60 days of receipt.

Members of the MBRTs may conduct, at their own expense and in coordination with other Federal and State resource agencies, field investigations to assess success criteria or to determine the success of the Bank Sites. The MBRTs' best professional judgement shall be used to determine wetland, upland, stream, and habitat success, functions, and values. MBRTs shall make best efforts to provide GDOT and its designated agents' reports resulting from such investigations within 60 days.

Should immediate remedial actions be identified by either party, they will be verbally conveyed to the other party for immediate reaction. Such immediate actions include those identified that if not completed immediately could jeopardize the Bank Site or investment made into the Bank Site or could negatively affect adjoining properties (as an example a breached dam post significant flood event). For all other communication/responsibilities regarding remedial actions refer to Section 19/21 of this agreement.

Bank Site "Close-Out"

A standard "Close-Out" letter for a Bank Site is included as Attachment 2 to this Appendix. (Attachment 2 and the process will be completed in the future. The agencies are currently working on language for use in other banks that will be used as the basis for this attachment, once available.)

Miscellaneous

The intent of these Bank Site procedures is to provide a framework by which the agencies and GDOT will coordinate in processing identified Bank Sites. Time frames are referenced; however, the intent is for each party to respond as quickly as possible.

The procedures described in this document do not alleviate the need to comply with the remaining sections of the GUMBI.

In that GDOT will generally also be the entity implementing projects necessitating impacts to wetlands/streams, there will be opportunity for coordination/communication in both the banking process as well as the permitting of impacts process.

In that one purpose of the GUMBI is to streamline the administrative review of Bank Sites, the parties agree that:

  • GDOT shall make best efforts to submit proposed Bank Sites that have high potential for success to MBRTs for review, so that the agencies' resources are focused on projects with forward momentum.
  • MBRT agencies shall make best efforts to submit close-out letters as soon as warranted so that GDOT can reallocate resources to other mitigation sites as soon as sites are deemed successful and additional information is not needed by GDOT or MBRT agencies.

The procedures in this Appendix will be re-evaluated by GDOT and MBRT agencies after several Bank Sites have been processed to determine if amendments are needed to meet the intent of the agreement. Refer to Appendix A for amendment and re-evaluation procedures.

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