Natural Resources Protection Act:
In Lieu Fee Compensation Program (ILFP)


Mitigating adverse environmental impacts is an integral part of Maine 's Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). In general, mitigation is a sequential process of avoiding adverse impacts, minimizing impacts that cannot be practicably avoided, and then compensating for those impacts that cannot be further minimized. Both State and federal agencies administering resource protection regulations may require appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation as a condition of their permit approvals and authorizations.

Compensation is required to off-set an adversely affected resource function with a function of equal or greater value. The DEP encourages applicants to mitigate for lost resource functions and values on the project site to the maximum extent practicable. If ecologically appropriate on-site mitigation is not available, practicable or otherwise wholly or in part acceptable to off-set lost resource function and value, a permit applicant may look off-site to find appropriate compensation or may request to pay a fee in lieu of (ILF) a compensation project as outlined in 38 M.R.S.A. § 480-Z.

The ILF compensation program was established to provide permit applicants with a flexible compensation option over and above traditional permittee-responsible compensation projects. The applicant may choose which method of compensation is preferred for a given project. Fees collected by DEP through the ILF compensation program are then allocated through the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP), which is administered by The Nature Conservancy in Maine.


  • Dawn Hallowell, Department of Environmental Protection, 207-592-1864.

Additional Information