October 20, 2015 – Atlanta, GA. – Mitigation Management (MM) has obtained the necessary federal, state, and local permits to improve habitat and water quality on 164 acres of wetlands, streams, and riparian buffers along the Etowah River in Dawson County, Georgia. The project, known as the Etowah River Road Mitigation Bank (ERRMB), is the first commercial mitigation bank permitted by U.S Army Corps of Engineers in Georgia since mid 2013. ERRMB is a commercial bank providing wetland and stream mitigation credits in its designated service area to offset unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States that result from activities authorized under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The landowner and bank sponsor for the ERRMB is Mitigation Resource Group, LLC (MRG), a joint venture between principals of MM and Fox Creek.
The ERRMB is a unique ecological system in the area, with the potential for restoring both stream and wetlands on the site, as well as improving habitat for federally listed species (Cherokee Darter). The Georgia Department of Natural Resources identifies the Etowah River as a “high priority water” within the Blue Ridge Ecoregion “high priority habitats,” indicating documented occurrences of high priority Species and high water quality rankings. ERRMB will restore and permanently protect approximately 7,000 linear feet of stream and associated riparian buffer and 132 acres of bottomland hardwood wetland habitat and associated upland buffer. According to Trey Evans, a partner at MM, “The wetland restoration component of the ERRMB is an order of magnitude larger than the average mitigation bank in North Georgia and provides the only current opportunity for ‘in-kind’ wetland resource mitigation within the Etowah River and Coosa River watersheds.” The first issue of credits was approved on October 6th, 2015.
The property where the mitigation bank is sited also has a unique history, having been determined through a cultural resources study to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places at the local level. The Palmour – McKee farmstead, is significant as an intact group of structures and associated agricultural fields that were established prior to the Civil War. In order to maintain this unfragmented landscape the entire 193 acre tract, including the Circa 1860 main homestead, in need of restoration, and the 164 acres of mitigation land will be marketed for purchase in its entirety by MM’s sister company, Clean Water Land, a specialty and conservation real estate consulting and brokerage firm based in Alpharetta. The environmental credits will be retained by MRG for sale to private and public developers.
Environmental regulatory agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Georgia Environmental Protection Division must approve a mitigation bank before credits can be sold. Mitigation banks provide enhanced environmental benefit over smaller, incidental mitigation projects and ensure mitigation success through inherent biological, financial and legal assurances. The ERRMB will be permanently protected by a conservation easement held by the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust.
MM acts as the exclusive sales agent for 25 commercial mitigation banks in Georgia and has brokered over $30M in mitigation credit transactions since it was founded in 2010. MM has restored and protected over 2,400 acres of critical habitat and 32 miles of streams in Georgia through the MRG partnership.
For additional information please contact Trey Evans (404) 308-0662
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