A new EPA publication will help the regulated community design and implement voluntary water quality trading programs consistent with EPA's 2003 National Water Quality Trading Policy. This new guide will provide stakeholders with detailed guidance on the fundamental concepts of trading which can accelerate water quality improvement and reduce compliance costs.
"EPA's Trading Toolkit is the first-ever 'how-to' manual on water quality trading," said assistant administrator for water Benjamin H. Grumbles. "This Toolkit will be useful not only for permit writers but for anyone interested in designing a trading program to improve water quality. It is part of EPA's efforts to support and encourage innovation for water quality progress."
Water quality trading is a voluntary option that regulated point sources can use to meet requirements under the Clean Water Act. The Water Quality Trading Toolkit for Permit Writers provides permitting authorities with the tools they need to incorporate trading provisions into required permits. The guide is focused on trading nitrogen and phosphorus, but other pollutants may be considered for trading on a case-by-case basis. The Toolkit discusses the fundamental concepts of designing and implementing trading programs including the relevant geographic scope, effluent limitations and other factors involved in defining a credit. The document also includes a set of appendices which feature detailed case studies based on actual trading programs.
EPA is interested in public comment on the Toolkit. Comments received through the document's Web site will be considered for future updates.
The Toolkit, a Web-based document, is available on the EPA's Water Quality Trading Web site at: epa.gov/owow/watershed/trading/WQTToolkit.html.