DMS Programs

DMS operates four in-lieu fee (ILF) mitigation programs to assist the development community with satisfying compensatory mitigation requirements related to state and federal laws and regulations. These initiatives mitigate unavoidable environmental damage from transportation-infrastructure improvements and other economic development, and help to offset sources of harmful pollutants that impact water quality in nutrient-sensitive river basins.  Participation in the in-lieu fee programs is voluntary and services are available for eligible public and private sector customers.  DEQ’s Division of Mitigation Services is also charged with developing the first North Carolina Flood Resiliency Blueprint. The Blueprint is a statewide watershed planning effort to establish a framework and tools to assist local communities in decision-making related to reducing flood risk and increasing resilience.

DMS's ILF mitigation programs are:

NCDOT Stream/Wetland Program

Statewide Stream/Wetland Program

Riparian Buffer Program

Nutrient Offset Program

Rate Schedule

NCDOT Stream / Wetland Program

The DMS nationally recognized NCDOT Stream & Wetland ILF program provides off-site compensatory wetland and stream mitigation for the N.C. Department of Transportation in advance of permitted impacts.  NCDOT provides DMS an updated list on an annual basis of planned NCDOT transportation projects that are scheduled for construction over the next seven years, along with each project’s estimated wetland and stream mitigation needs. 

DMS continually updates its procurement plan to produce the anticipated mitigation (i.e., land acquisition, mitigation site design, construction, planting and monitoring) to meet NCDOT’s needs in advance of impacts. NCDOT pays the actual mitigation production costs on a quarterly basis.

Statewide Stream / Wetland Program

This initiative assists eligible private sector, government agencies, municipalities, schools, military bases and other applicants in meeting state and federal stream and wetland mitigation requirements. Applicants may voluntarily request to participate in the Statewide Stream and Wetland ILF Program.  Mitigation credit types available are: riparian wetland, non-riparian wetland, coastal marsh wetland and warm, cool and cold stream.

Upon acceptance by DMS and approval of the regulatory agencies, the applicant makes a payment to DMS based on DMS rate schedule to satisfy the mitigation requirement specified in the permit(s). The mitigation requirement is then transferred to DMS, which implements new stream and wetland mitigation projects or uses existing project assets to satisfy the requirement.  Click here to access the ILF request form for wetland or stream mitigation and to learn more about this program.

Riparian Buffer Mitigation Program

The Riparian Buffer Program is available to eligible private and public sector developers to meet compensatory-mitigation requirements associated with riparian buffer impacts in the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico and Catawba River basins, the Goose Creek watershed and the Randleman Reservoir and Jordan Lake watersheds in the Upper Cape Fear River basin. Upon acceptance by DMS and approval of the regulatory agencies, applicants make a payment to the Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund according to the rate schedule to satisfy the mitigation requirement. Upon payment, the mitigation requirement is transferred to DMS, which implements riparian buffer restoration projects or uses existing project assets to satisfy the requirements. Click here to access the request form and learn more about this program.

Nutrient Offset Program

The Nutrient Offset Program for eligible private and public sector customers is designed to assist in addressing loading requirements for nitrogen and phosphorus in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins, and in the Jordan and Falls Lake watersheds, as part of the Division of Water Resources' nutrient management strategies in these areas.

As part of addressing nutrient loading requirements specified by a local government, developers may choose to use the "buy-down option" and request to make an offset payment to DMS.  Once payment has been accepted and received by DMS, a receipt is issued which allows the developer to receive final approval from the local government. DMS then assumes the responsibility for the offset requirement, including mitigation site construction and monitoring of buffer restoration sites or other types of nutrient offset projects. Please visit our Nutrient Offset page for more information and to make a request.