(a)Authority to Participate.—
The Secretary of a military department, and the Secretary of Defense with respect to matters concerning a Defense Agency, when engaged in an authorized activity that may or will result in the destruction of, or an adverse impact to, a wetland, may make payments to a wetland mitigation banking program or “in-lieu-fee” mitigation sponsor approved in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 Fed. Reg. 58605; November 28, 1995) or the Federal Guidance on the Use of In-Lieu-Fee Arrangements for Compensatory Mitigation Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (65 Fed. Reg. 66913; November 7, 2000), or any successor administrative guidance or regulation.
(b)Alternative to Creation of Wetland.—
Participation in a wetland mitigation banking program or consolidated user site under subsection (a) shall be in lieu of mitigating wetland impacts through the creation of a wetland on Federal property.
(c)Treatment of Payments.—