Register July 2015 No. 715
Chapter NR 350
WETLAND COMPENSATORY MITIGATION
NR 350.01   Purpose.
NR 350.02   Applicability.
NR 350.03   Definitions.
NR 350.04   Compensatory mitigation sequence.
NR 350.05   Planning for a mitigation project.
NR 350.06   Amount of compensatory mitigation required.
NR 350.07   Site crediting.
NR 350.08   Compensation site plan requirements.
NR 350.09   Construction inspection and monitoring requirements.
NR 350.10   Financial assurances.
NR 350.11   Long-term protection of compensation sites and mitigation bank sites.
NR 350.12   Process for establishing a mitigation bank.
NR 350.13   Mitigation banking.
NR 350.14   Enforcement.
NR 350.01 NR 350.01Purpose.
NR 350.01(1) (1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards for development, monitoring and long term maintenance of wetland compensatory mitigation projects that are approved by the department, and to establish procedures and standards for the establishment and maintenance of mitigation banks.
NR 350.01(2) (2) These provisions are adopted pursuant to s. 281.36, Stats.
NR 350.01 Note Note: Additional information can be found in the memorandum of agreement between the department and the United States army corps of engineers that adopts guidelines for wetland compensatory mitigation in Wisconsin.
NR 350.01 History History: CR 00-164: cr. Register January 2002 No. 553, eff. 2-1-02; correction in (2) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register May 2013 No. 689.
NR 350.02 NR 350.02Applicability. This chapter applies to all compensatory mitigation projects that are considered by the department as part of a review process conducted in accordance with chs. NR 103, 131, and 132. This chapter does not apply to compensatory mitigation conducted by the department of transportation as part of the liaison process pursuant to s. 30.2022, Stats. This chapter does not apply to compensatory mitigation conducted as a requirement of a federal permit issued prior to February 1, 2002. This chapter does not apply to compensatory mitigation for ferrous mining or bulk sampling activities conducted in accordance with s. 295.60 (8), Stats.
NR 350.02 History History: CR 00-164: cr. Register January 2002 No. 553, eff. 2-1-02; correction made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register April 2005 No. 592; CR 13-057: am. Register July 2015 No. 715, eff. 8-1-15.
NR 350.03 NR 350.03Definitions. In this chapter:
NR 350.03(1) (1) “Bank document" means a document that contains specifications pertaining to the establishment, operation and maintenance of a mitigation bank, identification of the goals, objectives, procedures for operation of the mitigation bank, and incorporates the appropriate terms and conditions of this chapter.
NR 350.03(2) (2) “Bank sponsor" means any public or private entity financially responsible for establishing and, in most cases, operating a mitigation bank.
NR 350.03(3) (3) “Compensation" or “compensatory mitigation" means the restoration, enhancement or creation of wetlands expressly for the purpose of compensating for unavoidable adverse impacts that remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been achieved.
NR 350.03(4) (4) “Compensation ratio" means the number of acres a project proponent shall provide at a mitigation project compared to the acres of wetland lost from a permitted project.
NR 350.03(5) (5) “Compensation search area" means an area that includes the geographic management unit (GMU) of the impacted wetland, the county of the impacted wetland, and a circle with a 20-mile radius from the impacted wetland.
NR 350.03(6) (6) “Compensation site plan" means a comprehensive document prepared by a project proponent or bank sponsor that provides a thorough description of a proposed compensation project.
NR 350.03(7) (7) “Corrective action" means an action taken by a project proponent or bank sponsor to correct deficiencies in a wetland compensatory mitigation project as early as possible after the problem is noticed.
NR 350.03(8) (8) “Creation" means a technique involving the establishment of a wetland where one did not historically exist.
NR 350.03(9) (9) “Credit" means a unit of measure, in acres, representing the accrual or attainment of wetland functions and values at a compensation site.
NR 350.03(10) (10) “Debit" means a unit of wetland value, in acres, that is withdrawn from the wetland mitigation bank upon approval of a banking transaction.
NR 350.03(11) (11) “Degraded wetland" means a wetland subjected to deleterious activities such as drainage, grazing, cultivation, increased stormwater input, and partial filling, to the extent that natural wetland characteristics are severely compromised and where wetland function is substantially reduced.
NR 350.03(12) (12) “Enhancement" means activities conducted in existing wetlands that increase one or more wetland functions.
NR 350.03(13) (13) “Established" means a compensation site that the department determines has met performance standards set forth in the compensation site plan.
NR 350.03(14) (14) “Functional values" means the physical, chemical and biological processes or attributes that occur in a wetland system and how society finds certain functions beneficial as listed in s. NR 103.03 (1).
NR 350.03(15) (15) “Geographic management unit" means one of the 22 statewide management units based on the major river basins of the state.
NR 350.03(16) (16) “Management" means actions taken at a compensation site to establish and maintain desired habitat and human use conditions including water level manipulations, herbicide application, mechanical plant removal, prescribed burning, fencing, signage and vandalism repair.
NR 350.03(17) (17) “Mitigation bank" or “bank" means a system of accounting for wetland loss and compensation that includes one or more sites where wetlands are restored, enhanced or created to provide transferable credits to be subsequently applied to compensate for adverse impacts to other wetlands.
NR 350.03(18) (18) “Mitigation bank review team" or “MBRT" means an interagency group of federal, state, local and tribal regulatory and resource agency representatives who oversee the establishment, use and operation of a mitigation bank.
NR 350.03(19) (19) “Mitigation project" means the restoration, enhancement or creation of wetlands to compensate for adverse impacts to other wetlands. “Mitigation project" includes using credits from a wetlands mitigation bank.
NR 350.03(20) (20) “Monitoring plan" means a specific program of data collection and analysis, conducted, analyzed and reported by a project proponent or bank sponsor, which documents the physical, biological, hydrological and human-use characteristics of compensation site wetlands.
NR 350.03(21) (21) “On-site" means a mitigation project located within one-half mile of the impacted wetland.
NR 350.03(22) (22) “Performance standards" means a list of quantifiable measures or objectives identified for a compensation site in the compensation site plan agreed to in advance by the project sponsor and the department, that shall be met before a compensation site can be deemed “established".
NR 350.03(23) (23) “Practicable" means available and capable of being implemented after taking into account cost, available technology and logistics in light of overall project purposes.
NR 350.03(24) (24) “Project-specific" means a mitigation project that does not involve the purchase of bank credits.
NR 350.03(25) (25) “Restoration" means a technique involving the reestablishment of historic wetland conditions and functions, to the maximum extent practicable, at a site where they have ceased to exist, which can include focus on reestablishing hydrologic conditions, plant communities, land contours and surrounding land conditions.
NR 350.03(26) (26) “Wetlands" means an area where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which has soils indicative of wet conditions.
NR 350.03 History History: CR 00-164: cr. Register January 2002 No. 553, eff. 2-1-02.
NR 350.04 NR 350.04Compensatory mitigation sequence.
NR 350.04(1)(1) Project proponents are encouraged to consult with the department in pre-proposal conferences or during the permit application process to identify appropriate compensatory mitigation options.
NR 350.04(2) (2) The project proponent shall conduct an evaluation of potential on-site compensation opportunities.
NR 350.04(3) (3) If the department determines that the project proponent has demonstrated that it is not practicable or ecologically preferable to conduct an on-site mitigation project, the department shall allow the project proponent to conduct off-site mitigation.
NR 350.04(4) (4) Off-site mitigation shall be accomplished by the project proponent as near as practicable to the location of the adversely impacted wetland and through use of any of the following off-site mitigation options:
NR 350.04(4)(a) (a) Development of a project-specific mitigation site located within the compensation search area.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.