DEP Hosts Public Workshops on Water Quality Credit Trading

Jan. 14, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is hosting two public workshops this week to discuss the expansion of the state’s Water Quality Credit Trading Program from the Lower St. Johns River Basin to statewide.

The first workshop was held today in Orlando and a second workshop will be held tomorrow in Tallahassee. Information on tomorrow’s workshop follows.


WHEN:     Jan. 15, 2015

                 9 a.m.Florida Department of Environmental Protection

WHERE:  Bob Martinez Center, Conference Room 609

                 2600 Blair Stone Rd.

                 Tallahassee, FL 32399

Water Quality Credit Trading is a voluntary, market-based program that establishes a financial incentive system to ensure cost effective water quality improvement projects. Under this voluntary program, stakeholders implementing water quality improvement projects beyond what is otherwise required would generate credits. These credits can be sold to other stakeholders in the basin to offset potentially more costly but equally effective water quality improvement projects.

“Water Quality Credit Trading is a nationally recognized tool that allows stakeholders to meet water quality goals at the lowest possible cost,” said Tom Frick, director of DEP’s Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “Expanding trading statewide provides everyone opportunities to expedite cleaner water.”

Market-based approaches can create economic incentives for innovation, emerging technology, voluntary pollution reductions and greater efficiency in improving the quality of the nation’s waters. Water Quality Credit Trading is most effective in areas where a quantified restoration goal has been developed, such as a TMDL or total maximum daily load. TMDLs identify the pollutant reductions necessary to restore a water body’s health and provide the measuring stick to determine if stakeholders have credits available. The TMDL typically also identifies pollutant loadings, the watershed conditions, and the maximum amount of pollutants that may be present for a water body to still be considered healthy. All of this information is necessary for effective trading.

A Water Quality Credit Trading pilot program was utilized in the Lower St. John’s basin, and now the department is taking steps to implement the program statewide in areas with established restoration plans. These meetings will solicit stakeholder and public input on the rule language prior to adoption.

For more information on Water Quality Credit Trading, click here.

For more information on the meeting locations and agendas, click here and here.

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