On November 3, 2015, the President issued a memorandum entitled “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” In it, he states “[t]his memorandum will encourage private investment in restoration and public-private partnerships, and help foster opportunities for businesses or non-profit organizations with relevant expertise to successfully achieve restoration and conservation objectives.” The memo includes five sections: policy, definitions, federal principles for mitigation, federal action to strengthen mitigation policies, and general provisions.
Section 1 states that it shall be the policy of the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to avoid and then minimize harmful effects to natural resources. Section 3(b) directs that mitigation policies should establish a net benefit goal, or, at a minimum, a no net loss goal. In addition, Section 3(c) establishes a preference for advance compensation mechanisms. And Section 4 requires certain specified agencies or agency components to draft or revise mitigation policies.