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Compensating for Wetland Losses Under the Clean Water Act

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) share responsibility for regulating the mitigation (lessening of impacts) of damages to wetlands. In response to a request from EPA, the National Research Council (NRC) formed the Committee on Mitigating Wetland Losses to evaluate mitigation practice as a way to restore and maintain the quality of the nation's waters, particularly as regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

The committee reviewed the available literature on replacement of wetland functions, considered both restoration and creation efforts, visited several mitigation sites around the United States, and then evaluated both the ecological performance of mitigation projects and the institutions under which mitigation projects are conducted (permittee-responsible mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs). At a series of five meetings, the committee worked in a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to develop the conclusions and recommendations presented in this report."

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