Wetland Mitigation Bank Certification

What is the purpose of this certification?
The Wetlands Mitigation Banking Act, Chapter 90.84 RCW, declares it the policy of Washington State to support wetland mitigation banking. The Act identifies wetland mitigation banking (banks) as an important regulatory tool for providing compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to wetlands. WAC 173-700 encourages wetland mitigation banking by providing an efficient, predictable statewide framework for the certification and operation of an environmentally sound banking system. This Certification is one of several permits required for a wetland mitigation bank sponsor to construct and operate a bank in the State of Washington.
Who issues this certification?
Department of Ecology
What activities require this certification?
Establishment and operation of a wetland mitigation bank. A wetland mitigation bank is a site where wetlands are restored, created, enhanced, or preserved.
How much will this certification cost?
Ecology has cost reimbursement agreements for the processing of this Certification. Applicants are encouraged to establish a cost reimbursement agreement before Ecology issues the public notice on the application.
Where can I get the application for this certification?
The application is called 'Prospectus Submittal Instructions and Checklist' is online and can be accessed at https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Wetlands/Mitigation/Wetland-mitigation-banking/Templates-guidance-documents.
Do I need to include anything with my application?
Requirements for submittal of the ‘Wetland Mitigation Bank Prospectus’ are contained in WAC 173-700-211. See the ‘Prospectus Submittal Instructions and Checklist’, which is available at: https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Wetlands/Mitigation/Wetland-mitigation-banking/Templates-guidance-documents.
Is the decision on my certification dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
Submittal of a prospectus is the first step in the review process. The prospectus provides a conceptual overview of the proposed wetland bank and serves as the basis for initial public and Interagency Review Team review and comment. The second step involves the development of a draft mitigation bank instrument which must be based on the prospectus. Agency acceptance of a Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI) results in Certification issuance. A number of technical appendices need to be included with the MBI. The details of what is required in an MBI are included in WAC 173-700-222. A ‘Mitigation Banking Instrument Template’ and ‘Mitigation Bank Instrument Submittal Procedures and Checklist’ are available at: https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Wetlands/Mitigation/Wetland-mitigation-banking/Templates-guidance-documents.
How long will it take to review my application?
Certifications have an average review time of two years. Some projects may need additional review time to complete certification depending on how complicated the proposed activities are. Contact Ecology for additional information.
Where do I submit my application?
Department of Ecology
Wetland Mitigation Banking Specialist
Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
How long is my certification valid?
Through the construction and operational life of the project.
What is the appeal process for the certification?
You have a right to appeal Ecology’s decision to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days of the date of receipt of the decision. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC. “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2).
Notes / Comments:
Additional permits for wetland mitigation banks may be required from local, state, and federal agencies. These permits include, but are not limited to:
    Local Jurisdiction: Floodplain Development Permit; Shoreline Substantial Development, Variance, or Conditional Use Permit; Growth Management Critical Areas Ordinance Requirements.
    State Jurisdiction: Aquatic Use Authorization; Hydraulic Project Approval; Section 401 Water Quality Certification; Coastal Zone Consistency Determination; Noxious Aquatic and Emergent Weed Transport Permit.
    Federal Jurisdiction: Section 404 Permit.
Legal Authority:
Where can I get permitting assistance?
Web page URL: https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Wetlands/Mitigation/Wetland-mitigation-banking/Contacts
Department of Ecology
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6000
Website: http://www.ecology.wa.gov/
* Permit information last updated 7/29/2019