J.B. Ruhl

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Natural Resources & Environment

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On November 3, 2015, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum aimed at unifying the mitigation practice and policy for activities carried out and approved by the Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture, the EPA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration... See Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment, 80 Fed. Reg. 68743 (Nov. 6, 2015). The broad policy goal of the Memorandum is to ensure that the agencies’ mitigation policies “are clear, work similarly across agencies, and are implemented consistently within agencies.” Id. at 68743. The Memorandum also emphasizes the need for transparency, measurable performance standards, and clear policies regarding who is responsible for what. Id. at 687465. The Memorandum develops four key themes working toward those goals... The Memorandum clearly represents a milestone in federal natural resources mitigation policy. If agencies maximize implementation of the sequencing, net outcome, advance compensation, and large-scale planning directives, and do so consistently, transparently, and with measurable performance standards, mitigation in the United States would look considerably different from its present practice.

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