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Santa Ana River Watershed In-Lieu Fee Program

Image of green hillsides and mountains.

An in-lieu fee program is an agreement between regulatory agencies and a sponsor, generally a public agency and/or non-profit organization, to mitigate for loss of habitat due to land development. In-lieu fee mitigation occurs in circumstances where a permittee provides funds to a sponsor instead of either completing project-specific mitigation itself or purchasing credits from a wetland mitigation bank. In-lieu fee mitigation is generally categorized as mitigation that is conducted after permitted impacts have occurred.

The Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District and the Southwest Resource Management Association cosponsor the Santa Ana River Watershed In-lieu Fee Program with the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. The regulatory agencies issue permits to individuals or public or private entities (permittees) who are required to mitigate for loss of habitat associated with development or other activities taking place in “waters of the United States and waters of the State.” The cosponsors are authorized to sell mitigation “credits” to permittees. The cosponsors may use the funds pooled from sales of credits to various permittees to create one or a number of conservation sites to satisfy the required mitigation.

If you are interested in purchasing credits from the Santa Ana River Watershed In-Lieu Fee Program, please make sure that you have all necessary signed permits in place as credits cannot be reserved.

For pricing and availability of In-Lieu Fee Program rehabilitation, enhancement and buffer credits please email Shelli Lamb  (redacted).