This paper provides a systematic overview of water quality trading in the U.S. The primary source of information for this overview is a detailed database, collected and compiled by a team of researchers at Dartmouth College. This paper divides the trading programs discussed in the database into four categories: on-going offset/trading programs, one-time offset agreements, state and regional trading policies, and other projects and recent proposals that involve trading. Details discussed include: sources of the pollutant, types of pollutants traded, legal liability, main regulatory drivers, market structure, trading ratios, transaction and administrative costs, and difficulties encountered in trading. We find that trading has often been explored in the context of more stringent discharge limits, or watershed wide caps (e.g. TMDL). The most common type of trading program in the United States is between point sources and non-point sources. Point sources are usually held liable for non-point source reductions. The pollutants most commonly traded in the U.S. are nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, and almost all offset and trading programs focus on one pollutant only. However, market structures, trading ratios, and other details of the trading framework vary widely among programs.
National Center for Environmental Economics, United States Environmental Protection Agency
North America / United States
Copyright 2005 National Center for Environmental Economics.
IssueLab's Embeddable Widget
Use this super simple form to customize and generate the code you need to display this content in your own environment - no programming required. The feed will inherit more specific styles, like font face and font color, from your website.
Your widget code
Add to the Collection
Please use the form below to provide us with your recommendation, and we'll check it out. Include your name and email address along with your suggestion just in case we need to get in touch. Thank you for contacting us.