New Wetland Rules Effect Wetland Bank Account Holders
The rules of wetland regulation in Minnesota have changed. New rules were enacted in August 2009 and included numerous changes to the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) as well as major restructuring of the rule layout. Of note to wetland account holders and users of credits were changes to actions eligible for credit, new reporting requirements, and most significantly the switch to a single-credit system.
The Wetland Credit Agency will cover the most significant of the changes in 3 parts over the next couple of weeks.
Part III: Single Wetland Credit System
The old system of New Wetland Credits (NWC) and Public Value Credits (PVC) is gone and has been replaced by a Single Wetland Credit (SWC) system. While this new credit system will undoubtedly present challenges to some account holders and credit buyers, it could mean that long stagnant upland buffer PVC credits may now be of value. Existing NWC and PVC credits will be transferred into the new SWC system based on how they were derived. All NWC will be converted to SWC at 100 percent, all wetland-derived PVC will be converted at 100 percent, and all upland buffer PVC will be converted at 90 percent. For example, 2.0 acres of upland buffer PVC will be converted to 1.8 acres of SWC while 2.0 acres of restored wetland PVC will convert to 2.0 acres of SWC. Although the upland buffer PVC is not converted at 100 percent, the switch to a single credit system means that it can be used to directly offset wetland losses without the need to meet 1:1 with NWC as previously required. This change could mean that your remnant buffer credits are now saleable again.
For now, the administrative fees charged by BWSR remain the same.
For more information on how these regulations might affect you and your wetland bank, give us a call, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.