Costs incurred after November 17, 1986, including lands, easements, rights-of-way, and relocations, for implementation and operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation to mitigate damages to fish and wildlife shall be allocated among authorized project purposes in accordance with applicable cost allocation procedures, and shall be subject to cost sharing or reimbursement to the same extent as such other project costs are shared or reimbursed, except that when such costs are covered by contracts entered into prior to November 17, 1986, such costs shall not be recovered without the consent of the non-Federal interests or until such contracts are complied with or renegotiated.
After November 17, 1986, the Secretary shall not submit any proposal for the authorization of any water resources project to Congress in any report, and shall not select a project alternative in any report, unless such report contains (A) a recommendation with a specific plan to mitigate for damages to ecological resources, including terrestrial and aquatic resources, and fish and wildlife losses created by such project, or (B) a determination by the Secretary that such project will have negligible adverse impact on ecological resources and fish and wildlife without the implementation of mitigation measures. Specific mitigation plans shall ensure that impacts to bottomland hardwood forests are mitigated in-kind, and other habitat types are mitigated to not less than in-kind conditions, to the extent possible. If the Secretary determines that mitigation to in-kind conditions is not possible, the Secretary shall identify in the report the basis for that determination and the mitigation measures that will be implemented to meet the requirements of this section and the goals of section 2317(a)(1) of this title. In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with appropriate Federal and non-Federal agencies.
The Secretary shall select and design mitigation projects using a watershed approach to reflect contemporary understanding of the science of mitigating the adverse environmental impacts of water resources projects.
To mitigate losses to flood damage reduction capabilities and fish and wildlife resulting from a water resources project, the Secretary shall ensure that the mitigation plan for each water resources project complies with, at a minimum, the mitigation standards and policies established pursuant to the regulatory programs administered by the Secretary.
In any case in which it is not practicable to identify in a mitigation plan for a water resources project the entity responsible for monitoring at the time of a final report of the Chief of Engineers or other final decision document for the project, such entity shall be identified in the partnership agreement entered into with the non-Federal interest under section 1962d–5b of title 42.
A mitigation plan under this subsection shall be considered to be successful at the time at which the criteria under paragraph (3)(B)(ii) are achieved under the plan, as determined by monitoring under paragraph (3)(B)(i).
Fish and wildlife enhancement measures carried out as part of the project for Atchafalaya Floodway System, Louisiana, authorized by Public Law 99–88, and the project for Mississippi Delta Region, Louisiana, authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1965, shall be considered to provide benefits that are national for purposes of this section.
The Secretary may develop programmatic mitigation plans to address the potential impacts to ecological resources, fish, and wildlife associated with existing or future Federal water resources development projects.
The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, use programmatic mitigation plans developed in accordance with this subsection to guide the development of a mitigation plan under subsection (d).
The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable and subject to all conditions of this subsection, use programmatic environmental plans developed by a State, a body politic of the State, which derives its powers from a State constitution, a government entity created by State legislation, or a local government, that meet the requirements of this subsection to address the potential environmental impacts of existing or future water resources development projects.
The scope of the plan shall be determined by the Secretary or an entity described in paragraph (3), as appropriate, in consultation with the agency with jurisdiction over the resources being addressed in the environmental mitigation plan.
A programmatic environmental mitigation plan may be integrated with other plans, including watershed plans, ecosystem plans, species recovery plans, growth management plans, and land use plans.
If a programmatic environmental mitigation plan has been developed under this subsection, any Federal agency responsible for environmental reviews, permits, or approvals for a water resources development project may use the recommendations in that programmatic environmental mitigation plan when carrying out the responsibilities of the agency under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
The banks, programs, and efforts described in paragraph (1) include any banks, programs, and efforts developed in accordance with applicable law (including regulations).
At the request of the non-Federal project sponsor, preference may be given, to the maximum extent practicable, to mitigating an environmental impact through the use of a mitigation bank, in-lieu fee, or other third-party mitigation arrangement, if the use of credits from the mitigation bank or in-lieu fee, or the other third-party mitigation arrangement for the project has been approved by the applicable Federal agency.
The Secretary, with the consent of the applicable non-Federal interest, may use funds made available for preconstruction engineering and design after authorization of project construction to satisfy mitigation requirements through third-party arrangements or to acquire interests in land necessary for meeting mitigation requirements under this section.
Prior to the expenditure of any funds for a project pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall notify the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate.
The Secretary shall consult with interested members of the public, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, States, including State fish and game departments, and interested local governments to identify standard measures under subsection (h)(6)(C) that reflect the best available scientific information for evaluating habitat connectivity.