Wednesday, May 1, 2013

GLC & USDA-NRCS Launch Phosphorus Trading Program

Apr 16: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) have launched an innovative phosphorus trading program To help alleviate high nutrient levels and algal blooms. A phosphorus credit trading program for the Lower Fox River watershed in Wisconsin will be developed under a partnership between the agencies. USDA Deputy Under Secretary Ann Mills, acknowledging the said, "This agreement between the Great Lakes Commission and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service adds an innovative tool to the Great Lakes restoration toolkit that can create new revenue opportunities for farmers, while simultaneously achieving cost-effective pollution reductions."

    Funded through USDA-NRCS Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds, the phosphorus credit trading program in the Lower Fox River area is seen as a cost-effective approach to achieve water quality goals and increase overall environmental and economic benefits. For example, it may be more cost effective for a point source, such as a sewage treatment plant, to pay for a credit to reduce pollution from urban or rural runoff sources than to install extremely expensive equipment to treat end-of-pipe discharges. Tim Eder, GLC executive director said the project will demonstrate that trading is a viable approach to reducing pollution in Great Lakes watersheds. He said, "We will design the phosphorus trading program to be transferrable to other areas in the Great Lakes region so we can maximize the positive impacts and investment of USDA-NRCS."
    Access a release from GLC and link to further details on the project (click here). [#GLakes]
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