In 2008, EPA and USACE promulgated rules governing all forms of compensatory mitigation. Information on and the text of these rules can be found on the EPA website.
The state of North Carolina provided a detailed written response when the rules were first proposed and a comment period was provided. The original draft of the rules called for the elimination of ILF programs as a mitigation option in the country. North Carolina and others successfully argued the merits of ILF programs, which were maintained as an option in the final rule.
General EEP Operations: Subchapter 2R of Environmental Management Commission rules sets forth implementation details for the program’s enabling legislation (see the section on State Laws).
Riparian Buffer Mitigation: A number of rules have been established to protect and restore riparian buffers in particular parts of the state. Management of riparian buffers is linked to strategies designed for watersheds and river basins that have impaired water quality associated with nutrient enrichment.
In North Carolina, the following areas are subject to riparian-buffer management and protection rules: Neuse River basin, Tar-Pamlico River basin, the mainstem of the Catawba River basin below Lake James, the watershed of the Randleman Reservoir, the Goose Creek watershed, and the Jordan Lake watershed.
Nutrient Offset Payment Program: As with riparian-buffer mitigation, a number of areas of the state have requirements for the management of nonpoint source pollution from new development activities. In these areas, after a certain amount of nutrient reduction is met on the site of a project, the developer has the option to "buy down" the additional reduction requirement. Nutrient-management rules that allow off-site nutrient reductions to gain compliance with reduction requirements are currently in place for the Neuse River basin, the Tar-Pamlico River basin, the Falls Lake watershed and the Jordan Lake watershed.
In addition, two rules are in place that govern EEP’s nutrient-offset payment program and the delivery of nutrient reduction projects. Rule 2B .0240 establishes procedures for making payments to EEP or other third-party mitigation providers. Rule 2B .0274 describes how EEP sets rates for nutrient payments made to the program.