I don’t know about you, but when I think of trading I think of cards, coins, stamps, and other collectable items. I’m here to tell you about a different kind of trading going on in our Mid-Atlantic Region. It’s called water quality trading. You might ask, “How can you trade the quality of your water?” Water quality trading programs are fairly new, and are being implemented throughout the United States under the Clean Water Act. How Water quality trading works is, within a watershed there are sources of pollution (in many cases treatment plants and industrial manufacturing plants). When one source has a greater pollutant reduction need than another, a trade can be made allowing both sources to achieve the best possible water quality goals set for their specific watershed.
In the Mid Atlantic Region, there are currently 4 established trading programs. These are:
These programs are put in place to control the pollutants nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.
What are the benefits of trading?
- Cost-effective way to reduce pollution without compromising environmental protection
- Faster way to achieve pollutant reductions
- Use of trading as a tool may enable a watershed to achieve its water quality goals
So…What do you think are other potential benefits to such a program being created?