On October 3, 2012, two environmental groups–Food and Water Watch and Friends of the Earth–filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C., seeking to have nutrient-credit trading removed from the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution-reduction plan issued by the U.S. EPA in December 2010. Nutrient-credit trading is a system under which, first, an overall cap on nutrient discharges within a watershed in established; and, second, wastewater-treatment plants, agricultural operations, and other entities in that watershed are then allowed able to buy or sell nutrient credits, so long as the overall cap is not exceeded. No trading program has been established yet for the entire watershed, by state programs exist in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Source: Suit opposes Chesapeake Bay pollution trading, Associated Press, as published in Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 10/3/12.
Water-quality trading is addressed in Section 10.2 of the Bay TMDL; access to individual sections is available online at http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/tmdl/ChesapeakeBay/tmdlexec.html.
For information on state nutrient-credit trading programs, see the following links:
West Virginia: http://wvwri.nrcce.wvu.edu/programs/pwqb/.