6111.025 Wetland mitigation banks.

(A) The department of natural resources, the division of wildlife in that department, or any other division in that department that is designated by the director of natural resources may establish and operate a wetland mitigation bank for purposes of sections 6111.02 to 6111.027 of the Revised Code. A mitigation bank so established may be used by any individual or entity, including any agency or department of the state, for mitigation purposes under those sections. Nothing in this division precludes any other private or public entity from developing a mitigation bank, provided that it is approved by the director of environmental protection under division (C) of this section.

(B) The environmental protection agency, the department of natural resources, the division of wildlife in that department, or any other division in that department that is designated by the director of natural resources may establish and operate an in-lieu fee mitigation program for purposes of sections 6111.02 to 6111.027 of the Revised Code. An in-lieu fee mitigation program so established may be used by any individual or entity, including any agency or department of the state, for mitigation purposes under those sections.

Nothing in this division precludes any other private or public entity from developing an in-lieu fee mitigation program, provided that it is approved by the director of environmental protection under division (C) of this section.

(C) The director of environmental protection in consultation with the director of natural resources shall approve and publish a list of approved wetland mitigation banks and in-lieu fee mitigation programs that shall be used by applicants for state isolated wetland permits for mitigation purposes . In establishing the approved list, the director of environmental protection shall give preference to wetland mitigation banks that are comprised of areas involving the restoration of previously existing wetlands. Applicants for isolated wetland permits shall not use mitigation from a mitigation bank or an in-lieu fee mitigation program that has not been approved under this section.

(D) The director of environmental protection annually shall issue a report to the members of the general assembly on the total number of acres of wetlands and lineal feet of stream that were subject to filling during the immediately preceding fiscal year . The report also shall include the total number of acres of wetlands that were restored, created, enhanced, or preserved through compensatory mitigation that same year as a result of state isolated wetland permits issued under sections 6111.02 to 6111.027 of the Revised Code and the state section 401 water quality certification program administered under section 6111.30 of the Revised Code.

(E) Any wetland category determined through the use of the appropriate Ohio rapid assessment method and verified by the environmental protection agency for purposes of an isolated wetlands permit issued under sections 6111.02 to 6111.027 of the Revised Code is valid for a period of five years following verification.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.115, SB 294, §1, eff. 9/5/2012.

Effective Date: 07-17-2001