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August 02, 2012
Bay: Nutrient trading could reduce costs

The Chesapeake Bay Commission recently released a report concerning the feasibility of nutrient trading for the Bay.

Nutrient Credit Trading for the Chesapeake Bay: An Economic Study addresses the need to find strategies that will reduce the costs of meeting the goals of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) established by the EPA that sets limits on the annual amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that may enter the Bay from each of its main tributaries.

According to the report, nutrient trading has emerged as one promising strategy for meeting the TMDL limits in a more cost-effective way. One conclusion is that the costs of meeting TMDL targets for significant point sources could potentially be reduced by as much as 36 percent if these sources were allowed to trade with other point sources and with agricultural nonpoint sources located in the same basin and state.

Factors that would interfere with nutrient trading include uncertainties about costs and state or local rules restricting trading.

INFO: Contact the Chesapeake Bay Commission at 410-263-3420. Read the report at http://www.chesbay.us/Publications/nutrient-trading-2012.pdf.