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In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Program | How to Purchase Credits


How to purchase credits from the Indiana DNR’s ILF program:

If a permit applicant anticipates that a project will result in unavoidable stream and/or wetland impacts that will require compensatory mitigation, the following steps outline the typical sequence to fulfill compensatory mitigation requirements using the in-lieu fee program:

DO YOU HAVE YOUR FINAL APPROVED PERMITS FROM THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND/OR IDEM AND/OR DNR DIVISION OF WATER? Before you can purchase credits, have you received your USACE and IDEM permits? If not, DNR cannot initiate the credit purchase process. DNR needs FINAL APPROVED PERMITS as required by our program instrument in order to process credit purchase requests.

How to use IN SWMP to fulfill mitigation requirements:

If a permit applicant anticipates that a project will result in unavoidable stream and/or wetland impacts that will require compensatory mitigation, the following steps outline the typical sequence to fulfill compensatory mitigation requirements using the in-lieu fee program:

  1. FIRST, Check the USACE RIBITS web site to determine if the required amount of credits are available in the service area(s) where you need them. To do so, follow these instructions:
    1. When you follow the above link, you may get a “certificate error” depending upon your internet provider and/or browser security settings. Click “continue to page” and it will take you to the main RIBITS site.
    2. Scroll down the list, and you will see SIX Indiana DNR links. The IN SWMP Service Areas are exhibited in RIBITS based on the Corps District(s) in which jurisdiction overlaps. Stream and wetland mitigation credits cannot be reserved and will be sold on a first- come, first-served basis.
    3. Find the one that contains your Indiana service area and click on it.
    4. On the next page there will be a link to “Ledger” near the top. Click this link. It will show you a table, “ILF Program Ledger Summary”, for the service area(s) you selected. The first column (Advance Credits Available) will show you how many credits DNR’s program has available in that service area for wetlands and streams.
  2. You do not need to contact the DNR if there are sufficient credits available according to RIBITS to fulfill your potential Section 10, 404, 401 and isolated wetland permit requirements. You do not need a letter of credit availability from DNR for your permit application(s).  DNR has sufficient credits available for the DNR-only permit in-lieu fee program (ILFP).
  3. Submit permit application(s) to the regulatory agencies and notify them that you would like to use the in-lieu fee program to fulfill the compensatory mitigation requirements for any unavoidable impacts. This serves as your permit’s mitigation plan.
  4. The regulatory agencies determine the appropriate amount and type of mitigation credits required to be purchased for mitigation of impacts.
  5. Once you have FINAL APPROVED PERMITS from USACE, IDEM, and/or DNR, the permittee can then reach out to DNR IN SWMP/ILFP to purchase the required number of credits to fulfill the compensatory mitigation requirements for your permit(s).
    1. Regulatory agencies typically conditionally authorize permits, with the requirement to provide a credit sale letter/receipt, prior to impacts to federal/state waters and/or within a specific timeframe.

Now that you have your permits are in hand, you are ready to contact DNR IN SWMP Staff to purchase credits.

  • Contact DNR IN SWMP staff by emailing INSWMP-Inquiry@dnr.IN.gov to request an invoice and credit purchase instructions. Doing so ensures that your request is handled in a timely manner.

Please include the following information in your email:

  • Provide the full contact information, including names, addresses, email, and phone numbers for permittee (primary contact(s) who need to receive the purchase instructions, an invoice, a copy of the credit sale letter and receipt).
  • Please let DNR staff know if you require the INRF to be registered as a vendor with your company/organization in order to purchase the required credits.
  • Invoice. INRF will produce an invoice that will be emailed by DNR staff along with the purchase instructions to the permittee.
  • Credit Sale Letter. Once funds have been received/verified for the credit purchase, DNR will provide a credit sale letter within approximately 30 days (typically less, depending upon payment type; ACH, check, cashier’s check, etc.) after funds have been received and deposited into the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF) account, along with a receipt from the INRF.
  • The permittee is ultimately responsible for providing a copy of the credit sale letter to the regulatory agencies to fulfill their permit mitigation requirements; however, DNR IN SWMP staff typically send an electronic copy of the credit sale letter and receipt to the regulatory agencies.

Once these steps have been completed and you successfully provide proof of the credit purchase, the purchase will permanently and legally transfer your mitigation responsibilities to DNR’s IN SWMP/ILFP.

Other important items of note for credit purchases:

  • If your credit purchase is for a transportation project, make sure you know how the mitigation purchase will be funded by checking with INDOT to verify what entity should be invoiced and make sure that DNR IN SWMP staff have this information.  Additionally, DNR and INDOT will have to have the DES number associated with the project.
  • IN SWMP invoicing/billing system requires that we have a single billing location for an entity.
  • If you intend to make multiple payments to complete a credit purchase within the timeframe allowed by your permit(s), please make DNR staff aware of this. Additionally, DNR will only provide a credit sale letter and receipts when a credit sale is PAID IN FULL.

The following table provides the Credit Pricing Schedule for stream and wetland credits for each Service Area as of May 20, 2018:

Service Area Stream Credit Price Wetland Credit Price
Calumet-Dunes $600 $95,000
St. Joseph River (Lake MI) $600 $120,000
Maumee $450 $80,000
Kankakee $500 $95,000
Upper Wabash $400 $80,000
Middle Wabash $400 $80,000
Upper White $450 $80,000
Whitewater-East Fork White $400 $80,000
Lower White $400 $80,000
Upper Ohio $400 $80,000
Ohio-Wabash Lowlands $400 $80,000

1 wetland credit = 1 acre equivalent; 1 stream credit = 1 linear foot of stream equivalent

These credit prices are subject to change as the DNR deems necessary in order to provide complete cost accounting for fulfilling advance credits sold for mitigation.

All credit sales are considered final since they are required by permits issued for impacts to Indiana’s aquatic resources. If credits are purchased and permitted impacts to aquatic resources never occur, refunds would only be possible with the authorization and approvals from the permitting agencies, minus administrative fees and any expended costs the DNR has incurred.

The DNR will NOT reserve or hold compensatory mitigation credits. All credits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, permittees are strongly encouraged to purchase mitigation credits as soon as possible upon receiving approval from regulatory agencies in order to secure credits as they are available.

If you have any credit purchase questions, please contact the Indiana Stream and Wetland Mitigation Program via email INSWMP-Inquiry@dnr.IN.gov. Program staff will assist you with any questions regarding the in-lieu fee program. Any permit-related questions should be directed to the appropriate regulatory agency and program.