The mitigation hierarchy is a framework to, at a minimum, ensure there is no net loss from economic development and follows three sequential steps: 1) avoid impacts, 2) minimize impacts that cannot be avoided, and 3) compensate for residual impacts (i.e., those that cannot be avoided or minimized). The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute are co-hosting a webinar series focused on the third step, compensatory mitigation, in the context of wind energy development. This four-part webinar series will introduce regulations that influence compensatory mitigation for wind energy projects and explore real-world examples of how compensatory mitigation is applied in practice.
For background on the mitgation hierarchy, see 1) REWI’s Guide to Wind Energy & Wildlife, which includes avoidance, minimization, and compensation, and 2) WREN’s summary on using consistent terminology when discussing the mitigation hierarchy. Additionally, in May 2023, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its updated Compensatory Mitigation Policy for species protected under the Endangered Species Act.