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PROMOTING WATER QUALITY TRADING THROUGH POINT SOURCE PERMITTING: U.S. EPA'S EFFORT TO DEVELOP WATER QUALITY TRADING GUIDANCE FOR THE NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM PERMIT PROGRAM

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In January 2003 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water released the Water Quality Trading Policy Statement, which encourages the development and implementation of water quality trading programs that address nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants to achieve water quality improvements. According to the Policy, water quality trading should be integrated into core water quality programs by incorporating provisions into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) (USEPA 2003).

EPA's Office of Wastewater Management has identified a need for a guidance document that will facilitate the integration of water quality trading language into NPDES permits and is taking steps to prepare such a guidance document using lessons learned and approaches from existing water quality trading programs. This paper will describe EPA's current efforts to analyze how NPDES permitting plays a role in water quality trading and to develop tools that will assist NPDES program staff to effectively use the permitting process as a mechanism to facilitate water quality trading.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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