EPRI supports a collaborative process for the development of this project. To this end, we invite feedback, questions, and suggestions on a rolling basis. Please feel free to send us input via e-mail.
For Technical or Stakeholder Questions or to be added to the project contact list: email@example.com
For media inquiries:
The project has actively sought input from a range of project stakeholders since 2009. We have several organized stakeholder advisory committees to support this process, as listed below. Participation by the advisor committees DOES NOT constitute their endorsement of the project, as not all of the suggestions are integrated into the project, and the advisors may or may not agree with the project protocols or approach.
We are grateful for the energy and input from all of our advisors and the many hours of thoughtful conversations.
Selling water quality credits provides a funding source that farmers use to offset the cost of new conservation practices aimed at improving water quality. If 5% of the 230,000 farmers in the Ohio River Basin implemented new conservation practices, it could result in reduced nutrient run-off on as many as 2.2 million acres. While participation in water quality trading is voluntary, once farmers sell credits, they must maintain the land management activities that generated the credits. To lay the groundwork for a sustainable market, our collaborators have worked under an EPA Targeted Watershed Grant talking with over 230 farmers and conservation professionals around the basin to identify the critical elements that ensure their participation.
Working with American Farmland Trust, the project engages and compiles the opinions, concerns, and suggestions of the agricultural community to help ensure that the implementation of this effort is appropriate and effective. American Farmland Trust's interest in water quality and carbon markets is deeply rooted in its 30 year history and their participation ensures direct involvement of farmers during the development of the Ohio River Basin Trading Project. Agriculture advisory committee members have included representatives from: Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation; Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Kentucky Division of Conservation; USDA, ARS; USDA NRCS; Illinois State Conservationist; National Pork Producers; West Virginia Conservation Agency; Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Kentucky Corn Growers Association/Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association; Mosaic; Ohio Environmental Council; Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.; North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Land Stewards, LLC. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The vision of the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project is to improve water quality by establishing water quality trading as an economically, socially, and ecologically viable approach in the Ohio River Basin. Facilitating open communication with environmental groups helps ensure that the Project improves water quality and the scientific defensibility of water quality trading programs.
EPRI formed a advisory committee of key environmental groups in the Ohio River Basin. This group began discussions to support a targeted comment period in the months preceding signing of the trading plan by the states. The group met approximately twice a month by conference call between April and July 2012, and continues to meet on a regular basis. Advisory committee participants have included: the Ohio Environmental Council, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, and Environmental Defense. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Many wastewater treatment facilities in the Ohio River Basin already understand the high costs of water quality compliance. They also recognize that water quality improvements are needed to meet local goals and Ohio River water quality standards. Innovative and potentially cost-effective approaches such as trading, in addition to traditional command and control approaches, may accelerate the pace of reaching water quality improvement goals.
Collaborating with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) helps ensure that the implementation of this effort is appropriate and effective for wastewater treatment permitted dischargers. The project team is also working with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) to ensure the project is appropriate for the wastewater treatment plant community.
Electric Power Industry
EPRI recently completed a feasibility study for a multi-state water quality trading in the Ohio River Basin, which presented a strong business case for coal-fired power plant involvement in the development of interstate trading program. New technologies to control air emissions may result in increased nutrient discharges to surface waters. These potential increases in nutrient levels, coupled with anticipated more stringent in-stream nitrogen standards, may lead to challenges with regulatory compliance. Participation in water quality trading will increase options for permitted facilities to cost effectively meet environmental requirements.
EPRI completed a feasibility study for a multi-state water quality trading in the Ohio River Basin in 2012, which presented a strong business case for coal-fired power plant involvement in the development of interstate trading program. New technologies to control air emissions may result in increased nutrient discharges to surface waters. These potential increases in nutrient levels, coupled with anticipated more stringent in-stream nitrogen standards, may lead to challenges with regulatory compliance. Participation in water quality trading increases options for permitted facilities to cost effectively meet environmental requirements. Active participants in EPRI’s Focus Group on water quality trading have included: Tennessee Valley Authority, American Electric Power, Hoosier Energy, Exelon, and Duke Energy. Download the study, Ohio River Water Quality Trading Project: Business Case for Power Company Participation (EPRI Report 1018861 ).