Hole-in-the-Donut Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hole in the Donut In Lieu Fee Mitigation Project?

The HID was established, under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, in 1996, through the issuance of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) permit #SAJ-1993-01691 and 2015 In Lieu Fee Instrument, and under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Mitigation Banking Statute (F.S. 373.4135) through the 1995 issuance of Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Permit, and 2019 update (Permit # 0257597-005).

These permits authorized the restoration work, and described performance standards, monitoring, management requirements, and the ability to transfer palustrine emergent mitigation credits which satisfy both the state and federal mitigation requirements of third parties (Permittees).

What is the service area for the HID?

The service area is most of Miami-Dade County, and a portion of Broward County, an area of approximately 1,517,000 acres. The service area does not include any saline or tidally influenced wetlands or barrier islands.

How does the credit transaction process work?

The HID may transfer credits to a Permittee once they have regulatory approval to use the HID mitigation project to fulfill the mitigation requirements according to one or more Permittee regulatory permits.

Permitees can reserve credits via the HID’s credit release lottery process, if they have at least one permit or permit application number from one or more of the following regulatory agencies for an individual project with unavoidable impacts to wetlands: (i) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), (ii) the Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), (iii) the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), (iv) the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and (v) the Broward County Department of Environmental Protection and Growth Management.

What is the difference between state and federal wetland mitigation credits?

The term “credit(s)” refers to federal and state credits, based on the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM). The Permittee has the responsibility to provide to the HID all mitigation requirements in UMAM credits. The HID does not determine the amount of mitigation a project may need. If there is a difference in the amount of mitigation required between the federal and state assessments, the Permittee should request the assessment with the highest mitigation requirement. This amount will then address both the federal and state mitigation requirements.

How much do mitigation credits cost?

The current cost of one (1) Hole in the Donut UMAM credit is $78,000.00. The cost of mitigation at the HID is subject to annual accounting reviews with the ACOE and bi-annual (2 year) accounting reviews with FDEP and is therefore subject to change.

How do I reserve mitigation credits?

Applications to reserve mitigation credits at the HID are processed via a credit release lottery during established dates and times. The dates of the lottery are announced via the HID website, only, at http://go.nps.gov/HIDMitigationBank. There are no email notifications or other means of announcing the credit release lottery.

Each credit release lottery conducted by the HID is equally open to all permittees who need wetland mitigation credits. The credit release lottery process is random, free of bias or preference, and with no exclusion, stratification, prioritization or ranking of projects based on the number of credits a project requires, based on whether a project has previously satisfied a portion of its credit requirements, or based on who is submitting the applications.

To participate in the credit release lottery, it is the Permittees responsibility to fill out the HID application form, provide copies of the regulatory permits and / or permit application numbers, and return these documents to the HID via email. The application and application instructions can be obtained via download from the HID Project’s website at http://go.nps.gov/HIDMitigationBank. Completed applications are only accepted via email at ever_hid_credit_application@nps.gov and will only be processed during the established open application period, as announced via the HID project’s website. Applications sent to any other email address, or outside of the open application period, will not be processed.

Once the HID has received the completed application and supporting documents during the open application period, the Permittee will receive email confirmation along with an application identifier. This identifier will be used to provide the Permittee information on the results of the credit release lottery. Once the lottery has been conducted, the applicant will receive an email detailing the results of the lottery.

If the lottery results allow for a credit reservation for the Permitee, a reservation letter will be sent via email. The reservation letter will summarize the information as described on the Permittee’s application form and assign an HID reference number. The Permittee should refer to this reference number when inquiring about their reservation or credit transactions. The reservation letter is valid for 6 months.

What if my reservation is about to expire?

The HID does not provide notification that reservation letters are nearing expiration. The Permittee may request one 6-month extension/renewal of the reservation letter. All obligations, terms and conditions of the original reservation will remain in effect with the exception of the cost of mitigation. The renewed reservation will reflect the cost of mitigation at the date of renewal. See also “How much do mitigation credits cost?”

If the reservation expires, the HID retains the credits and those credits can be made available to another project during the next credit release lottery. The HID bears no responsibility to provide mitigation credits after a reservation has expired. If the reservation has expired, the Permittee will have to reapply for a credit reservation during the next credit release lottery.

Reservations will not be held for more than 12 months (6 months initial reservation + additional 6 months with an approved extension).

What if the number of mitigation credits changes after I have made a credit reservation?

If within the reservation period the regulatory agencies determine that less mitigation is required than is included in the reservation, the Permittee may notify the HID and modify the number of mitigation credits reserved. The HID will provide a new reservation letter, documenting the change.

If within the reservation period, the regulatory agencies determine that additional mitigation credits are required than is included in the reservation, the HID bears no responsibility to provide additional mitigation credits.

The Permittee may fulfill their additional mitigation requirements elsewhere or elect to withdraw their reservation in its entirety. If the Permittee withdraws their reservation, the reserved mitigation credits are retained by the HID.

If the Permittee elects to utilize the HID project to fulfill their additional mitigation requirements, they would do so according to the HID’s credit release lottery process, described above.

How do I pay for my reserved mitigation credits?

The only accepted forms of payment are money orders or certified checks sent to:

ATTN: Tenzin Yangchen
Senior Manager, Financial Operations
National Park Foundation
1500 K Street NW, Ste 700
Washington D.C. 20005

You will receive a credit transaction form from the HID with your reservation letter showing the amount of mitigation. To pay for your reserved credits, send the credit transaction form with your payment to the National Park Foundation. If the credit transaction form does not accompany your payment, the National Park Foundation will not process your payment. Once the National Park Foundation receives the payment and credit transaction form, they will process the credit transaction. Please allow up to two weeks for credit transaction processing. Once the credit transaction has been processed the NPF will issue a copy of the receipt to the HID and the HID will forward the receipt to the Permittee.

Once a reservation letter is issued, the National Park Foundation must receive full payment within 6 months of the date shown on the reservation letter. If the full payment is not received within this time period, all commitments set forth in the reservation letter will be deemed null and void. No refunds of all or any part of the payment will be made.

What is the final step in the credit transaction process?

Once a credit transaction receipt has been issued, the Permittee must submit to the HID electronic copies of all signed regulatory permits. After the HID receives all permits, the project can assume the responsibility for the mitigation and deduct the credits from the HID ledger. The HID cannot assume responsibility for the Permittee’s mitigation without the regulatory permits.

How can I get more information about the Hole in the Donut In Lieu Fee Mitigation Project?

There are many links to more information on this page. If your question is not answered here, please send us an email to ever_hid_credit_application@nps.gov. Our mailing address is:

HID Mitigation Bank
Everglades National Park
40001 SR 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Last updated: May 4, 2023

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40001 State Road 9336
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