Environmental Protection

PBS&J Markets Credits for Texas's Wetlands Bank

PBS&J is marketing credits and conducting oversight for the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank, recently launched by The Conservation Fund, a national non-profit.

Private, industrial, and government developers whose projects impact wetlands in the Neches River basin and select surrounding watersheds can purchase credits necessary for these projects, as determined by a standardized assessment based on calculated functional loss at the impact site.

At more than 19,000 acres, the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank is Texas's largest wetlands mitigation bank and is located along the Neches River, traveling through Angelina, Jasper, and Polk counties. The new bank will •restore more than 13,000 acres of bottomland forested wetlands, •restore 6,000 acres upland to pre-settlement condition as a self-sustaining forest, and •provide a wildlife corridor between Davy Crockett and Angelina national forests. The Pineywoods Mitigation Bank has been approved to provide compensatory mitigation credits to public and private developers that must compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands across a designated service area.

"Working on a mitigation project of this scale, with the involvement of numerous state and federal agencies, has been a real challenge to say the least," says J. Grant Barber, PBS&J project manager. "In the end, I believe we were able to strike a balance that will allow for the restoration of a massive wetland ecosystem and will help provide the funds for more of these projects in the future."

The Pineywoods Mitigation Bank meets federal and state criteria for mitigation banks, receiving approval by an Interagency Review Team that includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, and the Railroad Commission of Texas.

PBS&J is an employee-owned company that provides infrastructure planning, engineering, environmental, construction management, architecture, and program management services to public and private clients.

For more information about the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank, contact J. Grant Barber at 903.509.1552, or by email at JGBarber@pbsj.com. Or go to www.pineywoodsbank.com.

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