Reinvigorated Effort to Reduce Excess Nutrients

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a letter last week to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement and a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative approaches.

“Thanks to the hard work of states, tribes and stakeholders, the EPA and the USDA have made significant progress reducing excess nutrients in some watersheds. Now is the time to build on that success and leverage the market-based approaches that we know can lead to meaningful results across the country,” said David Ross, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

The EPA and the USDA are committed to working with states, tribes and stakeholders to identify watersheds and basins where market-based approaches can supplement traditional regulatory programs to promote meaningful reductions in excess nutrients and improved water quality. This could include providing technical and financial support and participating in problem solving at the local level to explore approaches that include water-quality-credit trading, public-private partnerships, pay-for-success, supply-chain programs and more.

This renewed effort is part of a larger, inter-agency collaboration to better coordinate and focus federal resources on some of the nation’s most challenging water-resource concerns, including addressing excess nutrients in waterways.

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