History of the Program
On May 23, 2014 the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) signed an agreement making DFG the sponsor of a new in-lieu fee program (ILFP) for Massachusetts. The ILFP affords Corps permittees the new option of paying an in-lieu fee to DFG's ILFP as mitigation for their project impacts to federally-regulated aquatic resources. DFG, in turn, will aggregate ILFP fees to implement larger-scale mitigation projects. The Corps’ Mitigation Rule gives preference to in-lieu fee mitigation over permittee-responsible mitigation due to the increased likelihood of success with larger-scale mitigation projects and long-term monitoring by the in-lieu fee sponsor.
About the ILF Program
DFG’s implementation of its ILFP draws on the ecological mitigation expertise and experience of its three divisions – the Division of Marine Fisheries (“DMF”), the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (“DFW”) and the Division of Ecological Restoration (“DER”). ILFP mitigation projects will focus on permanently protecting aquatic resources and upland buffers and/or restoring impacted aquatic resources within four (4) identified bio-regions covering the state (called “Service Areas”). DFG will select ILFP mitigation projects through its application of detailed prioritization criteria in the ILFP Instrument, which includes consideration of a potential project’s ability to achieve multiple mitigation objectives and its support of or compatibility with broader conservation or management initiatives. DFG will also coordinate the implementation of its ILFP with a federal and state interagency review team (the “IRT”) which provides its input to the Corps and DFG on all mitigation projects proposed to be funded by the ILFP.