143-214.9. Division of Mitigation Services: purposes.

The purposes of the Division of Mitigation Services are as follows:

(1) To restore wetlands functions and values across the State to replace critical functions lost through historic wetlands conversion and through current and future permitted impacts. It is not the policy of the State to destroy upland habitats unless it would further the purposes of the Division of Mitigation Services.

(2) To provide a consistent and simplified approach to address mitigation requirements associated with permits or authorizations issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under 33 U.S.C. 1344.

(3) To streamline the wetlands permitting process, minimize delays in permit decisions, and decrease the burden of permit applicants of planning and performing compensatory mitigation for wetlands losses.

(4) To increase the ecological effectiveness of compensatory mitigation.

(5) To achieve a net increase in wetland acres, functions, and values in each major river basin.

(6) To foster a comprehensive approach to environmental protection.

(7) To reduce flood risk by creating or restoring flood storage capacity in streams, wetlands, and floodplains. (1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 27.4(a); 2005-386, s. 3.2; 2015-1, s. 4.2; 2020-79, s. 11A(b).)