The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) announced that the Arkansas Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel (“Panel”) will hold a telephone conference at 1:30 p.m. on December 14th.
ADEQ states the telephone conference will be moderated in the agency’s Legal Conference Room at its headquarters.
Legislation enacted in the 90th Arkansas General Assembly provided ADEQ and the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission the authority to establish and regulate water quality trading in the state. The legislation also provided for the establishment of the Panel.
A number of areas in the country are utilizing water quality trading as one approach to address water quality goals. Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits issued at both the federal and state level are increasingly including more stringent limits applicable to the discharge of nutrients such as phosphorus or nitrogen.
The costs associated with removing nutrients from a point source can be significant. Non-point source discharges may often be reduced at a lower cost on a pollutant basis than the point source discharges. Therefore, trading programs may allow facilities facing higher pollution costs to meet that regulatory obligation by purchasing environmental equivalent (or superior) pollution reductions from another source at a lower cost.
The purpose of the telephone conference is stated to be the holding of a vote to either recommend or not recommend a proposed nutrient trading regulation.
Anyone interested in listening to the conference call is asked to contact Charles Moulton (Moulton@adeq.state.ar.us or 501.682.7892) or attend in person at the agency.
A copy of the ADEQ news release can be downloaded here.