這個緩衝銀行在佩恩開發後即將派上用場，卡斯與庫克航空空司(Castle & Cooke Aviation Inc.)正在佩恩開發第一個商用飛機的基地，預計2009年開始啟用，希望可以吸引商用飛機這塊市場大餅。
Today, the Washington Department of Ecology extended its highest honor to both Snohomish County and Paine Field Airport Deputy Director Bill Lewallen for innovation and leadership in successfully completing the first fully accredited wetland mitigation bank in the state.
State and federal laws prohibit the loss of most wetlands due to development. A wetland bank is a pre-existing wetland restoration project. Projects that must offset wetland losses may purchase credits at a wetland bank in the same watershed - subject to regulatory approval. Wetland bank credits represent portions of completed restoration projects.
"Paine Field's wetland mitigation bank is a monumental achievement," said Ecology Northwest Regional Office Director Jeannie Summerhays. "This is the first wetland bank in Washington to be accredited at all levels - local, state and federal."
Ecology's Environmental Excellence Awards are reserved for individuals, businesses and organizations that have shown leadership, innovation or extraordinary service in protecting, improving or cleaning up the environment.
"This wetland bank is an environmental and economic achievement," Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said Wednesday. "It speaks to the effort Snohomish County is making toward balancing growth with environmental protection, and it shows that our county staff is among the best in the state."
The project is made up of 60 acres of restored wetland. Future county airport projects can tap into the bank's credits to offset wetland losses that cannot be avoided.
Ten years ago, Snohomish County began developing a wetland mitigation bank with the help of the Department of Ecology, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Aviation Administration.
In April, regulatory agencies determined two wetland properties had matured enough to be made available for mitigation. Officials from each agency gathered Wednesday to celebrate the final approval.
EPA approval is a must for any wetland mitigation bank, and Washington state's program is based on federal standards.
"Our region's wetlands and small streams are not only home to salmon and other threatened and endangered wildlife, but they also prevent flooding and protect us from storm damage" said Elin Miller, EPA's regional administrator in Seattle. "Our new wetland mitigation rule will help ensure ecological success, while providing greater consistency and predictability for property owners and developers."
The mitigation bank will be needed as development comes to Paine Field. Castle & Cooke Aviation Inc. is developing the first base for corporate jets at Paine Field, with plans to open the facility in 2009 in an attempt to attract the lucrative corporate jet market.
The first phase of the project will be built on 24 acres Castle & Cooke Aviation has leased on the west edge of Paine Field. Plans include a 40,000 square-foot hangar, and another 16,000 square feet of offices and amenities for corporate jet travelers.