Stream, Wetland & Buffer ILF Programs

New Buffer and Nutrient ILF Applications in Jordan Lake Upper New Hope and Lower New Hope Areas are Temporarily Suspended. 

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Stream, Wetland and Buffer ILF Program Information

The Statewide Stream and Wetland Program and the Riparian Buffer Mitigation Program are In-Lieu Fee programs that provide mitigation credit for the following types of impacts:  warm, cool and cold streams, riparian, non-riparian and coastal wetlands, as well as riparian buffer areas. Please note that not all credit types are available in all service areas.  Nutrient credits are handled under a separate program in DMS.  Participation in these programs is voluntary.  All customers requesting mitigation credits from DMS are required to evaluate private bank credit availability to comply with G.S. 143-214.11.  Compliance is generally considered at the time an applicant submits their permit applications to regulatory agencies.  Customer payment data are available from the links at the bottom of this page.

Submitting a Request

New, revised or re-submitted In-Lieu Fee requests for wetlands, streams and riparian-buffer mitigation are reviewed by DMS staff at weekly meetings. If an applicant chooses to request mitigation credit through the ILF programs, applicants or their agents should complete the In-Lieu Fee Request Form (non-DOT) and submit it to the ILF Program Coordinator.

Forms should be completed as accurately as possible and specify impact types and amounts for which DMS mitigation is needed as well as a map or site coordinates to verify project location. Most applicants need to first consult with permitting agencies to verify the type of credit needed and the availability of mitigation bank credits.

DMS staff typically meet at least weekly to evaluate these requests. Considered in this review are the financial, temporal and technical ability of the program to satisfy the mitigation request. DMS will provide applicants with a written response as soon as possible following these weekly meetings.

Acceptance letters are valid for six months from the issue date. Applicants may request to renew or revise their acceptance by submitting an updated form, indicating it is a renewal of a previous acceptance, and submitting it to the ILF Program Coordinator prior to the expiration of the acceptance letter.

The acceptance letter is transmitted to permitting agencies (i.e., USACE, DWQ or DCM) by the applicant during the permit application process. The permitting agency staff determine if the use of DMS for all or part of the anticipated compensatory mitigation is acceptable during their review of an applicant's permit application or PCN materials. Some applicants use DMS as their sole mitigation provider for a given unavoidable impact, while others use DMS as part of a more complex mitigation plan. All decisions regarding mitigation requirements are made by the permitting agencies, not by DMS.


Once an applicant receives all 404/401/CAMA permits associated with their project, the applicant sends copies of the permits and associated mitigation requirements to the ILF Coordinator with a request for an invoice. It is the permittee's responsibility to send permit copies to DMS. It is important to maintain a valid, unexpired acceptance letter during the permitting process. If the acceptance letter expires prior to receipt of the permits by DMS, a new acceptance letter must be requested and approved prior to invoicing.

Applicants will be invoiced based on the rate schedule in place on the date DMS receives a complete permit package (404/401/CAMA, as applicable) from an applicant or applicant’s agent or the date of the most recent acceptance letter; whichever is later. Invoices issued by DMS are valid for 60 days. If an invoice is not paid within 60 days of the date the invoice is issued, subsequent invoices will reflect the rate schedule in place on the date DMS issues a new invoice.  Please visit the Rate Schedule page for annual and quarterly rate adjustment information.

Invoice extensions may be requested by contacting the In-Lieu Fee Program Coordinator. Payments based on expired invoices cannot be accepted. Permits may require payment prior to the expiration date printed on an invoice. It is the permittee's responsibility to consult with permitting agencies to extend their payment period. Permitting agencies generally require that payment is made prior to impacts to streams, wetlands or buffers.

Completing the Process

Once payment is received by DMS, a receipt (and a USACE Mitigation Responsibility Transfer Form if required) is issued indicating that DMS is responsible for the mitigation associated with the payment and assigned to DMS in the permit(s). The receipt will indicate the amount, type and location of the mitigation requirement for which DMS is responsible. It is the permittee's responsibility to comply with all other state, local and federal regulations associated with their development activity.  Mitigation liability remains with the permittee until DMS receives payment, a receipt is issued, and the check clears.  All payments made to DMS are subject to our refund policy.

customer request process steps



Related Links

ePayments - Click here to pay your invoices online

ILF Receipts Data for Stream-Wetland-Buffer

ILF Receipts/Requirements Data- Riparian Buffer

DMS In-Lieu Fee Contact Information

All inquiries related to Non-DOT ILF requests, invoicing and payments should be directed to Kelly Williams at or at 919-707-8915.