Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Trading Program
Brian P. Calabrese
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 8, 2012
The Chesapeake Bay and its tidal waters are listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act (CWA) due to high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment, which in excess can create algae blooms that consume oxygen vital to fish and shellfish, block sunlight for underwater Bay vegetation, and smother bottom dwelling aquatic life. These nutrients and sediments enter the water from agricultural operations, storm water runoff, wastewater facilities, air pollution and other sources. Under the CWA, jurisdictions that have waterways designated as impaired must create a TMDL, which is essentially a “pollution diet” that identifies the maximum amount of a pollutant the waterway can receive, and still meet United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality standards.
For more than twenty-five years there have been considerable voluntary efforts by states within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to address the amount of nutrients and sediments entering the Bay, with the goal of removing the Bay from the CWA’s list of impaired waters. However, these efforts did not result in the Bay’s removal from the list, and on December 29, 2010, EPA announced a TMDL for the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
For the Bay TMDL, EPA required Bay jurisdictions to detail how they would meet their respective nutrient allocations through a Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP). The WIP provides a roadmap for how each Bay jurisdiction, in partnership with federal and local governments, will achieve and maintain the Bay TMDL nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment allocations necessary to meet Bay water quality standards. Pennsylvania’s WIP includes the Nutrient Credit Trading (NCT) Program.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4working papers series
Date posted: March 9, 2012
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.828 seconds