CONCORD, Mass. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District and the National Audubon Society -- Connecticut Chapter (NAS-CT) signed an In-Lieu Fee agreement on Aug. 21, 2013, which provides an alternative form of compensatory mitigation to those applicants seeking permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for work in Connecticut.

Prior to this agreement, those seeking Corps permits for impacts to aquatic resources were required to perform their own compensatory mitigation and monitor and maintain it for several years. This In-Lieu Fee option requires a fee to be paid "in lieu of" permittee performed mitigation.

"We're excited to partner with Audubon Connecticut on this important ILF program," said District Commander Col. Charles Samaris, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. "The program offers Department of the Army permit applicants another option to compensate for project impacts on aquatic resources. The program funds larger projects that can more broadly benefit Connecticut's aquatic resources, and relieves applicants of the responsibility to develop, perform, and monitor their own mitigation projects."

NAS-CT has no role in the permit review process. Its role is to administer a competitive grant funding program, soliciting proposals for wetland and waters restoration, enhancement, creation and/or preservation, and once the projects are chosen, fund, execute and provide long-term stewardship for them.

The ILF program can use the fees collected from multiple projects to develop larger compensatory projects which offer broader ecological benefits to the various aquatic resources. All ILF mitigation projects will be subject to approval by the Corps of Engineers in consultation with an interagency review team comprised of state and federal agencies.