Memorandum of November 3, 2015 Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment   [open pdf - 201KB]

"We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them. It is this same obligation that contributes to the strength of our economy and quality of life today. American ingenuity has provided the tools that we need to avoid damage to the most special places in our Nation and to find new ways to restore areas that have been degraded. [...] It shall be the policy of the Departments of Defense, the Interior, and Agriculture; the Environmental Protection Agency; and agencies within them (agencies); to avoid and then minimize harmful effects to land, water, wildlife, and other ecological resources (natural resources) caused by land- or water-disturbing activities, and to ensure that any remaining harmful effects are effectively addressed, consistent with existing mission and legal authorities. Agencies shall each adopt a clear and consistent approach for avoidance and minimization of, and compensatory mitigation for, the impacts of their activities and the projects they approve. That approach should also recognize that existing legal authorities contain additional protections for some resources that are of such irreplaceable character that minimization and compensation measures, while potentially practicable, may not be adequate or appropriate, and therefore agencies should design policies to promote avoidance of impacts to these resources."

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