When working on new projects, land developers must be mindful of any federally or state regulated natural resources on the site. If the site planning process results in unavoidable impacts to regulated wetlands or streams, a multi-agency permitting process is often one of the biggest hurdles a developer faces, potentially resulting in increased costs and construction delays. At a high level, here are your options when managing water resources at your project site:
Option 1 – Avoid Protected Resources
Avoiding protected resources at the onset of a project is often the most effective option for time and budget sensitive development projects. Environmental consultants, like the experts at Davey Resource Group, are trained to identify natural areas site characteristics. Savvy developers rely on early site assessment and site planning consultation services before spending budget on design and planning.
Option 2 – Minimize Impact to Protected Resources
Generally, the more that developers impact regulated water resources, the more expensive and time consuming projects become. Partnering with a consultant who can review a site plan and suggest strategic changes early in the site development process will often result in lower impacts to regulated natural resources.
Option 3 – Compensatory Mitigation Projects
If all options for avoiding or minimizing impacts to wetlands or streams have been exhausted and you find yourself in need of stream of wetland mitigation, Davey Resource Group can guide you through the mitigation planning and approval process. Each mitigation project is unique, but typically includes restoration or construction of a wetland or stream to compensate for the loss of impacted resources.
Recently, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) joined neighboring states such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois, in implementing an in-lieu fee program. State and federal agencies now favor IDNR’s in-lieu fee program as the preferred option for stream and wetland mitigation in Indiana. Davey Resource Group can help you navigate this new process and facilitate the purchase of mitigation credits as part of the permitting process. The up-front cost of purchasing credits is costly, but the in-lieu fee credit program offers a risk-free alternative for developers who can now pay a one-time fee rather than taking on a 5- to 10-year mitigation project that carries with it the risk of failure.