The WV Water Research Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service are teaming up with local, state, and regional stakeholders from the public and private sectors to initiate the WV Potomac Water Quality Bank and Trade Program. The Program is designed to help reduce nutrient and sediment loadings in the Eastern Panhandle and the Chesapeake Bay in a manner that supports local economic development and promotes sustainable and rural land resource management.
In order to restore the water quality and aquatic habitat of the Chesapeake Bay, all political jurisdictions within the watershed have agreed to achieve voluntary load reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment by the year 2010. West Virginia (WV) is required to achieve load reductions of 33% for nitrogen, 35% for phosphorus and 6% for sediment in the Potomac River drainage. If the total load reductions to the Bay are not achieved, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will develop a total maximum daily load reduction (TMDL) for the Bay that will further restrict point-source loadings throughout the Bay watershed, resulting in unnecessary harm to growing watershed economies.
The project partners intend to develop and implement a transparent, credible, and successful water quality trading program in the WV portion of the Potomac that will increase investment in BMPs thereby reducing non-point source loadings. We anticipate that the framework will be transferable to other watersheds in the Bay drainage and elsewhere providing for future growth. The World Resources Institute (WRI), a key partner in this project, has developed a web-based electronic trading platform for the Potomac, NutrientNet (www.NutrientNet.org) that is being modified to establish a standardized credit estimation method for developing real, surplus, and quantifiable trading credits. The application of NutrientNet will reduce overall project cost, trade transaction costs and provide program transparency, and increase the transferability of our model to other sub-watersheds in the Bay.
Although WV has not yet developed and implemented a trading program, there is public support within this watershed and at the state level for a market-based program that would provide additional funding to meet the Bay CLAs and avoid the EPA TMDL. Given this, we are integrating the trading program into the existing funding, procedures, staffing, and infrastructure of the state BMP cost-share program and related complementary programs.
The primary goal and purpose of this project is to develop and implement an incentive-based program to more cost-effectively achieve the Bay CLAs for nutrients and sediment. The secondary goals are to provide for sustainable economic development in the watershed and provide a trading framework that will be transferable to other watersheds. Our objective is to develop a stakeholder driven water quality trading credit market that will provide funds from point sources to offset the cost of additional BMP installation and maintenance.
Duration of the Project
The NRCS CIG grant period is three years (2006-2009) with a one year no cost extension to August 2010. Staff has initiated efforts to sustain funding for related projects into the indefinite future. Project outputs and outcomes, however, will be designed to carry the program forward without public funding.
WV Nutrient Trading Guidance
The documents here include final guidance documents for developing nutrient trading programs in WV, a specific guidance for a Potomac-based nutrient trading program, and an explanation of the elements within the Potomac trading guidance. The Potomac trading guidance document will likely be modified to reflect requirements of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
- WVDEP Trading Guidance Final [.pdf 280kb]
- APPENDIX A Potomac Trading_DEP [.pdf 543kb]
- Six Steps to West Virginia Agricultural Nutrient Credit Calculations [.pdf 126kb]
- Brochure – Nutrient Credit Trading in West Virginia’s Potomac River Watershed [.pdf 283kb]
General WV Resource Documents & Presentations
- WV Potomac Trading Project staff memo to WVDEP leadership,[.doc 55kb] RE: Nutrient requirements for <50,000 gpd NPDES permittees in the WV Potomac River basin, March 24, 2008.
- Trading Program Core Team Memo. To WVDEP, [.doc 45kb] RE: Rationale for including nutrient limits in NPDES permits for Potomac watershed point sources <50K gpd, July 5, 2007.
- NutrientNet Demonstration Worksheet for Nitrogen Reduction Credits in the Ag Sector [.doc 233kb] – Use this DRAFT worksheet to understand more about how Nitrogen credits can be derived from agricultural conservation activities and practices. Please note that this worksheet was designed for the Pennsylvania program and has been partially modified in accordance with the WV trading framework. When WV’s guidance is finalized the spreadsheets will be modified accordingly.
- Five Steps to West Virginia Agricultural Nutrient Credit Calculations & Background for Deciding which Chesapeake Bay “Model Run” to Use for Bay Model Data [.doc 42kb]
- Deriving Local Benefits in West Virginia from Chesapeake Bay Program Efforts: Institutions for Effective Regional Collaboration[.doc 124kb] By Alyse Schrecongost, WV Potomac Water Quality Trading Program and Joseph Hankins Freshwater Institute, Conservation Fund. Presentation to the WV/VA Water Resources Research Symposium, Blacksburg, VA. November 26-29, 2007.
- WV Trading Program: suggested framework, notes, and form for workgroup proposals [.doc 118kb]
- Schematic of Organizational Options for WV Trading Program [.ppt 229kb] – for comment and suggestion.
- Rockymarsh Run Watershed Targeted Watershed Grant: “Meeting Regional Goals through Local Benefits”
WV’s Conservation Fund receives an EPA Targeted Watershed Grant to demonstrate the fulfillment of a nutrient offset provision that will generate local benefits to the Rockymarsh Watershed, “Meeting Regional Goals through Local Benefits.” This project will reduce an estimated 300 tons of sediment, 15,000 pounds of nitrogen and 1,900 pounds of phosphorous entering Rockymarsh Run – a tributary of the Potomac River (www.rockymarshrun.org) – by working with private landowners to restore and protect riparian buffers, implement Low Impact Development practices on newly developed land, and pump out and maintain failing septic systems. The project is intended to establish a template to help NPDES permittees required to meet new nutrient offset provisions in a manner that benefits the local environment and economy. Learn more.
- VA’s Nutrient Trading Program, Brockenbrough, Allan Virginia DEQ. Presentation to the Steering Committee May 2007 [.ppt 4.7mb]
- OH’s Nutrient Trading Program, Gary Stuhlfauth Ohio EPA. Presentation to the Steering Committee May 2007 [.ppt 1mb]
- PA’s Nutrient Trading Program. Zemba, Andy. Steering Committee Presentation May 2007 [.ppt 347kb]
- Partnership Agreement Between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and EPA Office of Water – signed on Oct. 13, 2006 [.pdf 60kb]
- Steering Committee Overview of WV Trading Program, Richard Herd. March 7, 2007 [.ppt 527kb]
- WV Potomac Tributary Strategy [.pdf 868kb]
- WV Potomac Tributary Strategy Implementation Plan [.pdf 284kb]
- Mid-Atlantic Nutrient Trading Programs: Comparative Analysis Poster(Tatiana Borisova) [.ppt 2.7mb]
- Chesapeake Bay States’ Nutrient Trading Programs: Comparative Table (Working DRAFT, WVWRI – Do Not Cite)
- Basic Trading Terms Defined [.doc 82kb]
- KickOff Overview Power Point [.ppt 527kb]
Biannual Progress Reports
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: February – August 2009 [.pdf 371kb]
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: August 2008 – February 2009 [.pdf 304kb]
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: February – August 2008 [.pdf 416kb]
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: October 2007 – February 2008 [.doc 580kb]
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: March 2007 – September 2007 [.doc 127kb]
- WV Potomac Nutrient Credit Bank and Trade Program, NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Biannual Progress Report: September 2006 – February 2007 [.doc 122kb]
- National Programs
- WV/Regional Sites
- The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute
- WV Tributary Strategy Stakeholders Group
- WV Point Source Innovations Workgroup
- Jefferson County Water Advisory Committee
- World Resources Institute, Nutrient Net
- PA Trading
- VA Trading and Regulation – Final
- VA Point Source Nutrient Credit Exchange Website
- Ohio Trading Website
- Maryland Trading Program
- The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute
Articles of Interest
- The Five Keys to Constructing Successful Water Quality Schemes by Tracy Stanton – Ecosystem Marketplace
- Solutions outside the box shine a whole new light on Bay cleanup
- Getting Paid for Stewardship: An Agricultural Community Water Quality Trading Guide
- Paying for Environmental Performance: Using reverse auctions to allocate funding for conservation