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Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund: Purchasing Mitigation Credits

Understanding Available Credits

The Trust Fund has two types of credits available for purchase by permittees, Advance Credits and Released Credits.

Released Credits are those credits available and released for mitigation projects already in the ground. Credits are based on meeting success monitoring and approved by the IRT. These credits are equivalent to mitigation bank credits and may be sold to satisfy mitigation requirements. Released Credits are considered the first choice in the preferential hierarchy established by the 2008 rule. Released Credits are currently available for non-tidal wetlands in the Chowan, Lower James, Rappahannock and Potomac basins. Please contact Suzy Sidharta at 434-951-0578 for specific service area availability and pricing.

Advance Credits are in-lieu-fee credits sold in advance of mitigation sites generating released credits. Advance Credits are available in nearly every service area within Virginia. There are a limited number of credits available for each watershed and resource type (Exhibit B of Instrument). Pricing for Advanced Credits are available here (Exhibit D). These credits are considered second in the preferential hierarchy established by the 2008 rule.

Requesting Credits

When credits are requested from the Trust Fund, they must be accompanied by a voucher. The process is briefly outlined as follows:

  • Applicant contacts TNC for credit availability and requests number and type of credits required.
  • Applicant completes and submits a Credit Availability Voucher.
  • All information must be filled out completely when submitted to TNC.
  • If credits are available in the appropriate service area, TNC will issue a Letter of Credit Availability with a specific deadline for payment.
  • Applicant submits Letter of Credit Availability with their permit documents to the regulatory agencies.
  • When the applicant is ready to purchase the mitigation credits (before the deadline has passed), the applicant / permit manager must complete a Payment Voucher. This will reflect any changes since the initial request and the final mitigation requirements of the permit.
  • Applicant returns the payment voucher and the payment to TNC.
  • TNC issues acknowledgement of payment and assumes liability for impacts and mitigation requirements.

For credit availability, pricing, voucher submission or payment contact Suzy Sidharta, 434-951-0578.

IMPORTANT NOTE
As sponsor of the Trust Fund, The Nature Conservancy has the discretion not to sell Advance or Release credits for impacts greater than three (3) acres of wetlands or two thousand (2,000) linear feet of stream or for impacts to Heritage resources as defined by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  In determining whether to offer credits for sale in these cases, The Nature Conservancy may consider various factors in its discretion, including but not limited to:  the effect of the impact on the Conservancy’s conservation priorities, and, in the case of Advance Credits, the Conservancy’s ability to mitigate for the impacts in the appropriate watershed.    The Conservancy has exercised this discretion extremely infrequently over its 17-year history.   We stress it here simply to give members of the regulated community advance notice that if their project falls into the above outlined categories, they should contact us early in the process to ensure that the Trust Fund can, in fact, satisfy their mitigation needs.
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