On April 24, 2017, the Nature Conservancy announced a request for proposals (RFP) for vegetation management services at 16 Virginia sites under the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund mitigation program. Proposals were due by May 19, 2017. The RFP was originally available online at https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/vartf-vegetation-management-rfp.xml, but it was no longer there, as of 9/29/17.
According to the RFP Web site in April 2017, “[t]he purpose of these projects is to provide stream and wetland mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts for which the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF) was utilized as the compensatory mitigation. The primary objective of this RFP is to enhance and restore riparian buffer and wetland areas on VARTF project sites. The scope of work requires the Contractor to conduct site management activities that control invasive species and encourage native vegetative cover on the subject properties per the specifications herein that will meet or exceed the standards for compensatory mitigation in Virginia.”
Under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and under Virginia’s Water Protection Permit Program, which implements parts of Sections 401 and 404 of the CWA, a permit is required for disturbances (clearing, filling, excavating, draining, or ditching) to wetlands or streams covered by the CWA, and such disturbances are to be mitigated be avoidance, minimization, or compensation; or more information on mitigation, see the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Mitigation,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx. The Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is a mitigation program for impacts to streams and wetlands permitted by state and federal regulatory agencies; it’s administered by the Nature Conservancy, the Virginia DEQ, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the federal agency with primary responsibility for enforcing CWA Section 404). More information about the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is available online from the Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml; and from the Virginia DEQ online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.
Some of the information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC). More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.