BOX 4–1

Timeline of Significant Federal Actions Regarding Wetland Permit and Mitigation Requirements

1890s

Rivers and Harbors Act enacted (the earliest regulation of activities in waters of the United States)

1934

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act enacted

1968

Corps Public Interest Review promulgated

1969

National Environmental Policy Act enacted

1972

Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) enacted

1973

Endangered Species Act enacted

1975

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines Promulgated

1977

FWPCA amended (as Clean Water Act)

1980

EPA Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines revised

1990

U.S. Congress instructs the Corps to pursue the goal of “no overall net loss” (Section 307, Water Resources Development Act)

1990

Corps and EPA mitigation Memorandum of Agreement calls for sequencing and establishes preferences for on-site, in-kind mitigation

1993

Corps and EPA Joint Memorandum (Interim Guidance) on Mitigation Banking issued

1995

Interagency Mitigation Banking Guidance issued

1998

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century enacted, expressing congressional preference that mitigation for highway projects be supplied by mitigation banks

2000

In-Lieu Fee Guidance issued

GENERAL MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act

Mitigation to offset the impacts of dredging and filling projects is not a new concept for the federal government. Indeed, in 1934 the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act required federal agencies that construct or permit dams to consult with the then-existing Bureau of Fisheries to make provisions for fish migration (Public Law 73 –121). Subsequent amendments to the act now require federal agencies that engage in or permit projects that modify bodies of water to consult about habitat loss with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Thus, prior to making Section 404 permit decisions, the Corps must discuss with the FWS a proposal's impact on wildlife resources. The act calls on the FWS to advise federal agencies about proposed projects ' impacts on fish and wildlife habitats and to recommend compensatory mitigation measures. Agencies are not, however, required to follow the FWS's recommendations (Sierra Club v. Alexander, 484 F. Supp. 455 (D.C.N.Y. 1980)).



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