Market-Based Water Quality Trading Program Curbs Pollution
A market-based nutrient trading program in Virginia has encouraged economic investments and reduced phosphorus pollution to local waterways, helping to meet water quality goals for the Chesapeake Bay, the EPA says.
By offsetting increases in phosphorus loads, nutrient trading provides economic incentives for farmers, including cost savings, new income and employment opportunities, in addition to environmental benefits, such as air quality improvements, enhanced wildlife habitat, and carbon capture and storage.
The commonwealth of Virginia has created a market supply and demand for land conservation projects, taking nutrient trading from the conceptual level to an on-the-ground program that benefits the environment, reduces costs to the Commonwealth, and provides income to farmers, the agency says.
A tool developed by USDA scientists can help agribusiness model phosphorus loss in runoff and determine ways to reduce these losses.
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