More and more mitigation banks are “multi-credit” banks, which generate different kinds of offsets on one property. That’s fine — and even encouraged — under US federal law, provided the credits come from different parts of the property.
That means a mitigation banker who restores a wetland that then teems with endangered wildlife can earn both wildlife and wetland credits from that property — but only by delineating which parts of the property are generating wetland credits and which parts are generating biodiversity credits.
Some states, however, believe one patch of land should be able to earn multiple credits if it generates more than one environmental benefit — such as reduction of nutrient runoff into local waterways on top of wetland mitigation.
North Carolina is one such state, and EM’s Alice Kenny has taken a look at the debate over what constitutes double-dipping in her new article, When is Multi-Credit Banking a Double Dip?.
It’s a question that is sure to be the center of debate for years to come as more and more environmental values are identified, and we’d like to hear your views.
When, for example, do you believe it’s justifiable to award multiple credits for the same patch of land?
What do you think will have to happen before we can write a statement that such stacking is scientifically valid???