On June 28, 2012, in accordance with Chapters 748 (HB176 - Delegate Knight) and 808 (SB77 - Senator Watkins) of the 2012 Virginia Acts of Assembly, the Soil and Water Conservation Board authorized DCR to prepare and submit a NOIRA to solicit recommendations regarding the development of new proposed Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations for the Board's consideration.
Nutrient trading is a form of exchange (buying & selling) of nutrient reduction credits. These credits have a monetary value that may be paid to the seller for installing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce nitrogen or phosphorous. In general, water quality trading utilizes a market-based approach that allows one source to maintain its regulatory obligations by using pollution reductions created by another source. As a market-based approach, increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness are achieved by letting the market determine costs. To achieve a desired load reduction, trades can take place between point sources (usually wastewater treatment plants), between point and nonpoint sources (a wastewater treatment plant and a farming operation) or between nonpoint sources (such as agriculture and urban stormwater sites or systems).
DCR has formed a Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) to provide recommendations to the department, on behalf of the Board, regarding the development of the proposed regulations. Additional information regarding the work of the RAP is posted below.