FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2023
Contact: Victor Woodward
Habitat Bank to Build Wetland Mitigation Bank in Partnership with Spokane Area Public Development Authority, S3R3 Solutions
The mitigation bank will facilitate economic development and job creation in Spokane’s West Plains Airport Area and provide wetland and critical area impact mitigation for projects in a large service area of Eastern Washington
SPOKANE, Washington (May 12, 2023) – Habitat Bank, Washington state’s leader in wetland and conservation banking, and S3R3 Solutions, Spokane’s West Plains Airport Area Public Development Authority (PDA) announced that they have executed a partnership agreement to plan, permit, construct, and operate a wetland mitigation bank. The bank will follow federal, state, and local guidelines to provide mitigation credits for impacts to wetlands and critical areas in a portion of Eastern Washington, specifically centered around Spokane and the West Plains Airport Area.
S3R3 Solutions is a collaborative partnership between Spokane County, the City of Spokane, and the Spokane International Airport that enables public and private entities to collectively facilitate economic development and job creation in the West Plains region. Habitat Bank plans, permits, constructs, and operates federal and state approved wetland and habitat conservation banks throughout the State of Washington.
The partnership agreement’s goal with the Spokane area mitigation bank is to reestablish, create and enhance enough wetland and other critical habitats, resulting in a net gain of wetland function, after accounting for permitted wetland impacts. This may include the conversion of isolated, low-quality wetlands into high-quality, connected, and permanently protected wetlands at the large mitigation bank site. The bank’s approved mitigation credits will be available to S3R3 Solutions’ clients to offset future site development impacts and ensure project completion timelines are predictable.
Victor Woodward, Managing Partner of Habitat Bank, said, “We’re excited to work in the unique geology of Eastern Washington on a site that has great environmental uplift and wildlife potential. The Spokane area is really growing so it’s time for a high-quality wetland mitigation bank project to become an option for permit applicants.”
This summer, an initial project prospectus that details the 400-acre project’s proposed location, construction details, environmental uplift, long-term protection, service area, and operations plan will be released for public comment. The availability of wetland mitigation is critical to S3R3 Solutions’ continuing economic development objectives since small, scattered wetlands are a common feature of the geology in the West Plains Airport area.
“This is an important strategic accomplishment for S3R3 to facilitate wetland mitigation options that give businesses looking to locate to the West Plains Airport Area certainty on their development projects,” said Breean Beggs, Board Chair of S3R3 Solutions.
Wetland Mitigation Banks are the result of the continuing progression of best available science in determining the best solutions for aquatic resource mitigation. Using an available mitigation bank is a preferred solution for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Washington State Department of Ecology permits when mitigation is required by the applicant. Mitigation credits are also used for stream and critical area buffer impacts as regulated by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and local jurisdictions.
Credits from the proposed mitigation bank should be available within two to three years and will be sold by the square foot. Projects located in the West Plains area will have priority access to the mitigation credits, but the bank’s proposed service area will include portions of watersheds extending to the Snake and Columbia River. For more information on Wetland Mitigation Banking, visit the Washington State Department of Ecology website at Ecology.WA.gov.
For questions regarding the Wetland Mitigation Banking please contact Zach Woodward at (425) 205-0279 or [email protected]
For questions regarding S3R3 Solutions please contact Karen Corkins at [email protected]
S3R3 Solutions is investing in the sustainable growth and development of the West Plains/Airport area, its workforce, and the surrounding community environment. Whether an entity is seeking to build a new company or relocate an existing company within the Public Development Authority (PDA) boundary, S3R3 Solutions has the expertise to shepherd a build to suit or relocation project from vision to operational reality.
S3R3 Solutions strategic location gives companies immediate access to the logistics systems designed to move freight efficiently. Our logistics hub provides proximity to railways, highways, interstates, and an international airport with multiple international seaports less than 5 hours away. A new state-of-the-art Truck-Rail Transload Facility has also recently been completed to facilitate freight movement in this transportation, logistics and advanced manufacturing center.
Habitat Bank is Washington State’s leader in developing Wetland and Salmon Habitat Mitigation Banks. They have been developing banks on private lands and in public-private partnerships since 2003. The Spokane West Plains Bank will be Habitat Bank’s eighth large scale mitigation project they own or manage in Washington State.
Habitat Bank has mitigation bank partnerships with the Port of Vancouver, the City of Battle Ground, the City of Kelso, the City of Redmond, and numerous private landowners. Their customers include WSDOT, Sound Transit, BNSF, BPA, airports, public works departments, city and county road projects, commercial developers, and private residential developers and landowners. Bank credits can be used to mitigate impacts to wetlands, streams, lakes and critical area buffers. Project applicants prefer mitigation banks because once credits are purchased, development projects can move forward, and liability for the success of the mitigation is transferred to the bank.
Habitat Bank’s most recently permitted bank is the Keller Farm Mitigation Bank in Redmond, which serves the Lake Washington watershed from Issaquah through Redmond to the tributaries of the north end of Lake Washington up to Everett. More information about Habitat Bank’s projects and service areas can be found at www.habitatbank.com.