General Questions About Iowa Agricultural Mitigation Bank
- What is the Mitigation Bank?
Iowa Agricultural Mitigation Bank is a not-for-profit umbrella-type wetland mitigation bank. The bank provides compensatory mitigation credits for impacts to farmed wetlands within the identified bank service areas.
- How does the Mitigation Bank work?
Customers interested in converting Farmed Wetlands on their property to non-wetland uses can purchase mitigation credits from IAMI as an alternative to replacing the wetland areas on their own property.
- Is this program oriented to agricultural or commercial use?
The IAMI was established to serve agricultural uses only. Commercial project are not eligible for participation unless they are directly related to Iowa agriculture (example: development of an ethanol plant, improvements to a farm-to-market road).
- How do I determine if I need to use the Mitigation Bank?
Use of the IAMI is intended as an alternative to mitigating wetland impacts on your own property. If you have a wetland defined by a Certified Wetland Determination that you’d like to convert, the purchase of bank credits may be an option for you.
- Why should I use the Mitigation Bank?
You should use the IAMI if you desire to improve your farm operations by converting existing low quality Farmed Wetlands. Those areas may be replaced through the purchase of mitigation credits.
- How do I know if I need credits?
Most credit needs arise from discussions with your NRCS District Conservationist.
- How are credits prices determined?
IAMI determines credit price by covering all land purchase, wetland restoration, maintenance, financial assurance, and administrative costs to operate a bank site. A modest allowance is made for profit with the intent of rolling those funds into development of other bank sites. As a not-for-profit organization, the mission of IAMI is to keep credit prices as low as possible while providing a sustainable service.
- Do credit prices vary at and between mitigation sites?
Credit prices may vary depending on input costs (land value, construction requirements, size and scope of projects, etc.) and are calculated separately for each mitigation bank site. Credit costs may range from $10,000-$20,000 per acre (credit).
- Does NRCS regulate credit cost?
NRCS does not set or regulate credit costs. Cost calculations are entirely based on market values and conditions.
- What role does the NRCS have in the Mitigation Bank?
The NRCS is responsible for determining which agricultural areas are regulated wetlands, what functions and values those wetlands have, and which may be eligible for conversion by purchasing bank credits. The NRCS serves as our partner agency managing all bank actions.
- What is the relationship proximity of the Mitigation Bank and the user?
Mitigation banks, including the IAMI, are defined geographically by individual service areas and those service areas are based on watersheds/drainage districts. Use of a mitigation bank requires credits be purchased from the same service (watershed) as the impacts.
- How far can my land be from the site?
Geographic limits of service areas are based on watersheds rather than direct distance and could be 150 miles or more.
- What if I am not in your service area?
IAMI maintains several banks with different services areas and is actively developing banks in other areas. If your project is not within an established service area, your project may not be able to participate in purchasing bank credits until or unless a bank is developed that serves your area.
- Is there anyone else that provides this service/Can I meet my obligations with anyone else?
IAMI is currently the only provider of agricultural-specific wetland mitigation credits in Iowa. There are several commercial wetland mitigation banks in Iowa that provide credits for Section 404 Permit needs; however, those commercial operations tend to offer only high dollar value credits.
- Can I create my own Mitigation Bank?
Anyone can create their own mitigation bank.
- Where can I get more information from?
Executive Director Kim Perlstein can be reached by phone at 515-298-4974 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also talk to your local NRCS representative.