Compensatory mitigation involves actions taken to offset unavoidable adverse impacts to wetlands, streams and other aquatic resources authorized by Clean Water Act section 404 permits and other Department of the Army (DA) permits. As such, compensatory mitigation is a critical tool in helping the federal government to meet the longstanding national goal of ‘‘no net loss’’ of wetland acreage and function.  For impacts authorized under section 404, compensatory mitigation is not considered until after all appropriate and practicable steps have been taken to first avoid and then minimize adverse impacts to the aquatic ecosystem pursuant to 40 CFR part 230 (i.e., the CWA Section 404(b)(1)  Guidelines). 

Compensatory mitigation can be carried out through four methods: the restoration of a previously-existing wetland or other aquatic site, the enhancement of an existing aquatic site’s functions, the establishment (i.e., creation) of a new aquatic site, or the preservation of an existing aquatic site.  There are three mechanisms for providing compensatory mitigation: permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation, mitigation banks and in-lieu-fee mitigation.

Permittee-responsible mitigation is the most traditional form of compensation and continues to represent the majority of compensation acreage provided each year. As its name implies, the permittee retains responsibility for ensuring that required compensation activities are completed and successful. Permittee-responsible mitigation can be located at or adjacent to the impact site (i.e., on-site compensatory mitigation) or at another location generally within the same watershed as the impact site (i.e., offsite compensatory mitigation). 

Mitigation banks and in-lieu fee mitigation both involve off-site compensation activities generally conducted by a third party, a mitigation bank sponsor or in-lieu fee program sponsor. When a permittee’s compensatory mitigation requirements are satisfied by a mitigation bank or in-lieu-fee program, responsibility for ensuring that required compensation is completed and successful shifts from the permittee to the bank or in-lieu fee sponsor. Mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs both conduct consolidated aquatic resource restoration, enhancement, establishment and preservation projects; however, under current practice, there are several important differences between in-lieu fee programs and mitigation banks.

Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (2008 Mitigation Rule 33 CFR 332)  (pdf copy of the Federal Register Notice providing Federal guidance for mitigation banking) 

Regional Internet Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) - RIBITS is an interactive web-based compensatory mitigation tracking system. RIBITS allows the public to track the status of USACE approved Mitigation Banks and In-lieu Fee programs in the Nashville District. It will provide up-to-date information about the availability of compensatory mitigation credits to offset adverse impacts authorized by Department of the Army permits.

Please note that RIBITS is a national database and includes information about other types of Federal and State mitigation programs. In order to view information about stream and wetland mitigation in the Nashville District area of responsibility you will need to select Nashville District from the list of USACE Districts on the RIBITS Home Page.

Tennessee Stream Quantification Tool

 For more information:
 US Army Corps of Engineers - Nashville District
 Regulatory Branch
(Attn: William E. Worrall) 
 3701 Bell Road, Nashville, TN 37214

TN SQT & Debit Tool Q & As

User Manual- TN SQT

Workbook-TN SQT

Debit Tool

Rapid Data Collection Methods

Rapid Assessment Form 

Large Woody Debris Index Field Assessment and Data Entry Workbook

Mitigation Guidance

Applicants seeking a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP)/Section 401 Water Quality Certification and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 10/404 Permit can request a regulatory coordination meeting with the agencies for complex and/or large-scale project proposals with the potential to impact aquatic resources and/or may require permittee-responsible mitigation (PRM). Please follow the link below to request a meeting. Applicants are also encouraged to contact their assigned project manager for any questions concerning their project review.  Click Here for a Regulatory Coordination Pre-Application Meeting Request

SOP for Evaluating Impoundments using the TN SQT

SOP for Assessing  Temporal Loss for Compensatory Mitigation Provided After Impacts to Aquatic Resources Have Occurred

SOP for Assessing a Proximity Factor for Compensatory Mitigation Occurring Outside of Mitigation Bank & In-Lieu Fee Services Area

Performance Bond Template

Escrow Agreement Example

(Draft) Mitigation Banking Instrument Template

Conservation Easement Template (AL)

Conservation Easement Template (TN)

Easement Subordination Agreement (AL)

Easement Subordination Agreement (KY)

Easement Subordination Agreement (TN)

Letter of Credit Template

Property Assessment & Warranty Template

Land Use Restriction for Private Property Template

Land Use Restriction for State Property Template

Stream Permittee-Responsible Mitigation Guidance

Stream (Draft) Prospectus Checklist

Wetland Permittee-Responsible Mitigation Guidance

Wetland (Draft) Prospectus Checklist

Mitigation Fact Sheet