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Public Notice: Tidal Wetland Mitigation Banks November 1997

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed Guidelines for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Tidal Wetland Mitigation Banks in Virginia which were developed in conjunction with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science as part of a Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program grant.  The proposed guidelines are intended to supplement the existing Wetlands Mitigation-Compensation Policy and will assist local wetland boards and the Commission in evaluating proposals to establish and use mitigation banks designed to satisfy all, or a portion of any required compensatory mitigation for unavoidable, permitted tidal wetland losses in the Commonwealth.  The proposed guidelines are similar to the existing Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks, but are specifically intended for tidal wetland bank proposals in Virginia.

For the purposes of the proposed guidelines, a mitigation bank is defined as "a site where tidal wetlands are restored, created, enhanced or in exceptional circumstances, preserved expressly for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation in advance of authorized impacts to similar resources.  The use of a bank may only be authorized when impacts are unavoidable."

The Commission will consider the proposed guidelines and any other comments from individuals interested in this matter at a public hearing to be held at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 25, 1997.  The public hearing will be held in the main office of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on the 4th Floor at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News beginning at 9:00 a.m.

A copy of the proposed guidelines may be reviewed at the Commission, Monday through Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Persons wishing to obtain a copy of the proposed guidelines may call the Commission at (757) 247-8028.

Please submit written comments or questions regarding the proposed guidelines to

Mr. Robert W. Grabb, Chief, Habitat Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, Virginia, 23607-0756

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO DISABILITIES, PLEASE ADVISE NANCY PUCKETT AT (757) 247-2259, NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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