Today,Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced the Infrastructure Facilitation and Habitat Conservation Act, H.R. 2280. California Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. The legislation was first introduced in the 112th Congress.
“In order to construct the infrastructure Riverside County needs to grow its economy and create jobs, we must find innovative ways to comply with existing environmental obligations,” said Rep. Calvert. “Our local leaders have moved forward to establish a habitat conservation plan that provides the necessary mitigation and compliance with our state and federal environmental laws. The establishment of a revolving loan program will provide Riverside County and other regions with the resources they need to accelerate the execution of their habitat conservation plan. By taking these steps sooner rather than later, we can avoid delays in making the needed improvements in our infrastructure to sustain Riverside County’s economic growth.”
The Infrastructure Facilitation and Habitat Conservation Act establishes a program to provide loans and loan guarantees to enable eligible public entities to acquire assets associated with habitat conservation plans (HCPs) approved by the Secretary of the Interior. HCPs are planning documents required as part of an application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. They describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking, and how those impacts will be minimized or mitigated. The legislation does nothing to alter eminent domain laws and/or private property rights.