News Archive: 2002-2011

2011 News

Wisconsin's Water Quality Trading Blog Site July 5, 2011 Created in January of 2011, this site provides information on the latest happenings related to water quality trading. Check out their latest posts here.

Farm of the Future: USDA Project April 28, 2011 The Farm of the Future project profiles working farms, forests, and ranches that are participating in environmental markets or receiving payments for ecosystem services. Five case studies have just been released where land owners changed their management practices to provide water quality, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and carbon benefits - generating new revenue from the sale of ecosystem services to supplement traditional income. To view these four case studies and learn more about this project visit the Farm of the Future Project homepage.

2010 News

Water Quality Trading: Ohio River Basin July 6, 2010 Lawrence Burdell, President of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts discussed his participation in the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project Meeting. Watch the video below to hear what he had to say or follow the link: Water Quality Trading - Lawrence Burdell, OFSWCD President

2008 News

USDA Now Has Office of Environmental Markets (OEM) 12/15/2008 This is a new office within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist in development of markets for ecoystems services. This new EOM was formerly known as Office of Ecosystem Services). Find out more about it by clicking here: Office of Environmental Markets

2007 News

Amber Waves May Special issue: 2007 “Environmental Credit Trading: Can Farming Benefit?” View the article.

Great Lakes Water Resources Agreement approved by Quebec 8/17/2007 Approval by Quebec's National Assembly of the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. Press Release.

Pennsylvania First Nutrient Trade January 2007 The first credit sale was executed by Red Barn Trading Co under Pennsylvania Nutrient Trading Program - View Pensylvania DEP news release.

2006 News

Water Environment Federation Position on 2007 Farm Bill December 2006 Link to WEF website

Partnership Agreement between USDA, NRCS and US EPA Office of Water. October 2006 USDA and EPA sign a Water Quality Credit Trading Agreement. Read the agreement. Read the press release.

Ohio EPA - Draft Water Quality Trading Rules May 30, 2006 The Agency began soliciting comments on the draft rules for water quality trading. Comments must be submitted by June 30, 2006. For more information, go to Ohio EPA website.

US EPA Proposed Compensatory Mitigation Regulations March 2006

“Water Quality Trading: A Guide for the Perplexed” G. Tracy Mehan III. The Environmental Forum. This article reviews the latest Water Environment Federation publication "Water Quality Trading: A Guide for the Wastewater Community".

2005 News

U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy on Market-Based Environmental Programs USDA Roles in Market-based Environmental Stewardship In this Secretary's Memorandum, USDA states that it supports these market opportunities for its constituents and partners, and will assist by providing technical tools and developing accounting practices. USDA will also form an internal council to support activities related to environmental markets.

Iowa Farm Bureau and University of Iowa join forces for the environment 4/20/2005 Contact: Laurie Groves, Iowa Farm Bureau, (515) 225-5414; Ferman Milster, University of Iowa, (319) 335-5132 WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – April 20, 2005 – In conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the University of Iowa today announced their first transaction of carbon credits to help reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


VIRGINIA NUTRIENT TRADING PLAN MAY END CHESAPEAKE GROUP’S SUIT April 4, 2005 A new nutrient trading plan in Virginia aimed at reducing nutrient discharges to the Chesapeake Bay may help resolve pending lawsuits by environmentalists that are seeking stricter nutrient discharge requirements for point sources in the state, according to an environmental group source. A source with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) says the organization’s lawsuits against Philip Morris USA and the town of Onancock, VA, remain pending, but if the state implements its planned stricter water quality standards and a nutrient trading plan, then the legal arguments in the cases will become moot. CBF announced plans last summer to sue EPA and specific sewage treatment plants -- and challenge state permitting decisions -- in a broad effort to reduce nutrient discharges in the bay’s watershed (Water Policy Report, June 28, 2004, p16). Source: Water Policy Report via; Date: April 4, 2005; Issue: Vol. 14, No. 7; © Inside Washington Publishers

EPA Announces Landmark Clean Air Interstate Rule March 10, 2005 "CAIR will permanently cap emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the eastern United States. When fully implemented, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions in 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia by over 70 percent and NOx emissions by over 60 percent from 2003 levels." Read the full USEPA press release.

Bush Plan Could Drain Effort to Clean Up Waters February 9, 2005 Under his budget, funds for an antipollution program would be about half the 2004 level. Other environmental projects also face cuts. By Miguel Bustillo and Kenneth R. Weiss, Times Staff Writers. Read full Los Angeles Times Story.

Chesapeake Bay Blue Ribbon Panel recommends $15B Cleanup Fund The panel calls for a $15b fund with the federal government and states splitting 80:20. It calls for flexible approaches including trading. The panel promotes point-point trading but specifically says: "The Panel did not see a model of point/nonpoint-source trading which it could endorse at this time, although it was informed that some jurisdictions are interested in developing such a program." Bay Journal article. See quote on page 30 of report.

2004 News

USEPA Announces Water Quality Trading Handbook The USEPA released its "Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook: Can Trading Held Advance You Watershed's Goals?" The purpose of the handbook is to help users evaluate whether the circumstances in a particular watershed make it likely or unlikely that trading can be effectively implemented on a watershed basis to address the existing water quality problem(s). Link to handbook.

Watershed Services: The New Carbon Katoomba Group's Ecosystem Marketplace. Environmental Trading Network interviewed for article.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) passed a resolution last week in support of EPA's 2003 Water Quality Trading Policy. The resolution reads: In support of EPA's water quality trading policy. NACo calls upon the President and federal agencies, as well as state regulatory authorities, to adopt water quality trading policies consistent with the policy proposed by the EPA. NACo suggests any regulations or policies adopted to control and reduce watershed nonpoint pollution should be flexible and voluntary, and not necessarily require costly controls when less costly controls may be appropriate and effective. Link to NACo.

USEPA Selects Targeted Watersheds for 2004. Five of the fourteen watershed projects involve trading. Read a summary of each trading project. Link to the EPA website.

California Trader Arrested on Wire Fraud Charges. Read the USEPA press release.

Benjamin Grumbles, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, USEPA, testifies before the Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, U.S. House of Representatives February 26, 2004 Read the statement.

State of Virginia Senate Bill No. 639 defines allowable tributary loading of phosphorus and nitrogen from major basins. Read the bill.

USEPA Releases New Guidance for Watershed Based NPDES Permitting. The permitting serves as an important mechanism to institute trading. Long Island Sound (CT) and Neuse River (NC) permits are described within the guidance. Link to the guidance.

2003 News

USDA hosts a series of forums Forums are to help identify potential opportunities for USDA involvement in environmental credit trading. These open sessions feature discussions on key issues to help identify the potential opportunities that may exist for Departmental involvement in environmental credit trading. A series of discussion panels was presented to provide private entity experiences with credit trading markets. Each panel consists of people representing the interests of a buyer, seller, and aggregator of environmental credits and others involved in credit trading. Forums sponsored by the NRCS Science & Technology and Programs Deputy Areas. For more information contact Mark Colosimo at 301-504-2195 or email

“ announces ground-breaking Spanish Carbon Fund.” A consortium of three companies led by CO2 Spain, working together with (a division of Cantor Fitzgerald International) and international law firm Baker & McKenzie are launching the first Spanish Carbon Fund. The first phase involves structuring the fund in consultation with initial participants, including public and private companies in Spain that expect to be involved in the European Emissions Trading Scheme."For more information please see the CO2e website.

Great Lakes Commission Features Point-Counterpoint on U.S. EPA Trading Policy See page 9 of publication.

“Will Nutrient Credit Trading Ever Work? An Assessment of Supply and Demand Problems and Institutional Obstacles” May 2003 Environmental Law Reporter News and Analysis (33 ELR 10352). Authors included Dennis M. King and Peter J. Kuch. The article was based on research funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Policy Analysis; and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. The article was written from an economic perspective of environmental markets. Click here to read the article (PDF).

World Resources Institute Releases “Awakening the Dead Zone This resource is an investment for agriculture, water quality and climate change. This publication addresses the Mississippi River Basin and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

Great Lakes Trading Network Becomes Environmental Trading Network Read the Press Release.

USEPA Announces Final Water Quality Trading Policy January 13, 2003 In a press conference Monday, January 13, 2003, Administrator Christine Todd Whitman announced the final Water Quality Trading Policy and the funding of 11 projects. Find out more on the EPA Trading page.

2002 News

Michigan's Watershed Trading Rules have become finalized as of 11-22-02 View the finalized rules. View the Rules Development information.

2002 Farm Bill SEC. 1240H. CONSERVATION INNOVATION GRANTS (a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may pay the cost of competitive grants that are intended to stimulate innovative approaches to leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production, through the program. (b) USE.—The Secretary may provide grants under this section to governmental and non governmental organizations and persons, on a competitive basis, to carry out projects that— (1) involve producers that are eligible for payments or technical assistance under the program; (2) implement projects, such as— (A) market systems for pollution reduction; and (B) innovative conservation practices, including the storing of carbon in the soil; and (3) leverage funds made available to carry out the program under this chapter with matching funds provided by State and local governments and private organizations to promote environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. (c) COST SHARE.—The amount of a grant made under this section to carry out a project shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the project.

"Trading to Meet Watershed Goals - Reinvigorating EPA Policies and Support" February 24, 2002 Presented by: Lynda Hall Wynn, EPA Office of Water Incentives for Watershed Action - Environmental Credit Trading Before, During and After TMDLs, Water Environment Federation, Watershed 2002 Pre-Conference Workshop, Ft. Lauderdale FL.

Emissions Trading Goes Online December 10, 2002 Great Lakes Radio Consortium Story.

Market-Based Water Quality Management Yields Cleaner Water at Lower Cost A report released recently by the World Resources Institute (WRI) concludes that market-based approaches to water quality management, including nutrient trading, can provide greater improvements in water quality at much lower cost than traditional regulatory approaches alone. For more information, please contact Paul Faeth at 202/729-7688 or visit WRI's website.