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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Nonpoint Source Baselines for Water Quality Trading

EPA, in its February 6, 2019 Memorandum, reiterates its strong support for market-based mechanisms, including water quality trading, to accomplish its mission to protect human health and the environment. The memorandum identifies six market-based principles to increase the flexibility and effectiveness of water quality trading. One of the principles in the February 6, 2019 memorandum encourages simplicity and flexibility in implementing baseline concepts.

On September 5, 2019, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a Federal Register notice inviting the public to consider policy options presented and to submit written comments on those options and others that may help promote market-based approaches to water quality improvements. EPA will host a public meeting to facilitate discussion on this important aspect of market-based programs, including water quality trading, that can be used to cost-effectively achieve water quality improvements.

View the Federal Register Notice(5 pp, 312 K, About PDF)

Public Listening Session

On October 21, 2019, EPA held a combined in-person and online listening session to gather feedback from the public on the Federal Register notice. During the session, EPA provided background on the water quality trading issues discussed in the Federal Register notice. This was followed by statements from the public.

​Click "" below to view a video of the webinar.
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