H.R.1290 - American Wetland Restoration Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
Summary: H.R.1290 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)
Introduced in House (03/25/1999)
American Wetland Restoration Act - Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to declare that it is national policy to: (1) achieve, through regulatory means that take into account that 75 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous United States are privately owned and that private property rights should not be unreasonably infringed and through nonregulatory opportunities involving all levels of government and supported by private initiatives, the conservation, creation, and restoration of wetlands to increase the quantity and quality of, and meet the interim goal of no overall net loss for the remaining, wetlands resource base of the contiguous United States, taking into account the status and trends of such base in particular regions and areas; and (2) foster wetlands mitigation banking as a means to mitigate the unavoidable loss of wetlands by providing a regulatory framework for the use of mitigation banking, making appropriate use of existing, successful programs, taking into account regional variations in wetlands conditions, functions, and values.
Directs the Secretary of the Army to issue a mitigation bank charter to a person who, with respect to the project or projects to be included in the scope of the charter, meets specified criteria. Requires an applicant to submit an application signed by a responsible official which includes, at a minimum, information on such criteria.
Sets forth provisions regarding annual reports, decision deadlines, and other procedural matters.
Authorizes a mitigation bank, upon receipt of its charter, to offer mitigation credits for sale, subject to specified requirements. Authorizes the Secretary to provide additional guidance on the size and use of the service area and to resolve interstate disagreements. Authorizes an approved mitigation bank to provide compensatory mitigation for activities requiring authorization under this Act or provide required injunctive relief in an enforcement action by the Secretary or the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. States a preference for in-kind compensation of wetlands impacts. Directs the Secretary and the Administrator to establish standards and criteria applicable to the use of on-site mitigation, in lieu fees, and other off-site mitigation as compensatory mitigation that are similar to those applicable to a mitigation bank.
Sets forth reporting requirements.
Allows a State that operates an approved program regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters to administer a wetland mitigation banking program in accordance with State procedures if such banking program is approved by the Administrator as part of the State's dredged or fill material program.