Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Environmental Assessment

Wetlands

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Aquatic resources, including wetlands, play an integral part in maintaining the health of our environment. Avoiding and minimizing impacts to these resources is given serious consideration when developing transportation projects.

Aquatic resources, including wetlands, play an integral part in maintaining the health of our environment. Avoiding and minimizing impacts to these resources is given serious consideration when developing transportation projects. In the design and construction of transportation projects, MnDOT complies with a number of federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations. Compliance involves obtaining permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Watershed Districts. MnDOT also has obligations and responsibilities per the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). Under the WCA Rule (Chapter 8420), MnDOT acts as a Local Government Unit for wetland-impacting activities on MnDOT right of way. These activities include local road authority projects proposed by counties, cities, and townships, as well as MnDOT state road projects.

Wetland impacts caused by MnDOT projects are mitigated primarily through mitigation banking. MnDOT and the Board of Water and Soil Resources have formed a partnership for generating wetland credits, which is the Cooperative Wetland Replacement Program (CWRP). For many years, MnDOT was a national leader in the field of Wetland Mitigation Banking and developed many wetland sites throughout the state. However, the CWRP is a more efficient collaboration that combines MnDOT funds with BWSR’s wetland restoration expertise to locate, plan, construct and monitor wetland mitigation sites. The CWRP also purchases wetland credits from private wetland banks.

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