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Nutrient Trading

Trying to find credits?
If your facility is in need of credits to meet permit cap load requirements, what credits are available and who has them are found in the 2017 Verified Nitrogen Credits (PDF) and 2017 Verified Phosphorus Credits (PDF) lists. These lists are updated daily when changes occur.

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NOTICE

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will make requests for Certification and Notices related to the Nutrient Credit Trading Program available for public comment. Typically, DEP allows 30 days for public comment. Please see the applicable PA Bulletin Notice found on eComment for the exact days and timeframe for comments on each item listed below. Upon conclusion of the comment period, DEP may remove these documents from this website.

There are no requests for certification available for public comment at this time.

Individuals wishing to comment can utilize DEP's eComment website.

DEP will accept comments submitted by e-mail. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. A return name and address must be included in each e-mail transmission. Written comments should be submitted to:

Nutrient Trading Program
Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Clean Water ¦ Division of Operations
RCSOB, P.O. Box 8774
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-6744
RA-EPPANutrientTrad@pa.gov


OVERVIEW

The primary purpose of the Nutrient Credit Trading Program is to provide for more cost efficient ways for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permittees to meet their effluent limits for nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

On October 9, 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published its nutrient trading program regulations (25 Pa. Code § 96.8), entitled "Use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed," in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (40 Pa. B. 5790).

In April 2014, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began objecting to the issuance of NPDES permits prepared by DEP that contained Cap Loads and permit language that enabled the use of credits to achieve compliance with those Cap Loads.

The objections were based on EPA's concerns with the nonpoint source agricultural baseline requirements in the nutrient trading regulations. EPA asserted that DEP had not made a quantitative demonstration that these requirements achieve the load allocations for agricultural sources in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

Unlike point source discharges with NPDES permits, agricultural operations cannot quantitatively measure the potential nonpoint source loading of nutrients from their fields.

To resolve EPA's objections and retain the ability to issue the NPDES permits in question, DEP has established additional eligibility and credit calculation requirements to ensure the effectiveness of the use of credits to meet legal requirements of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL as authorized by its regulations (25 Pa. Code §§ 96.8(d)(5) & (e)(3)(vi)).

A summary of these requirements is on the Program Requirements webpage. Further details on these requirements, and how a credit generator can comply with these new provisions, can be found in the Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plan (Phase 2 WIP) Nutrient Trading Supplement (PDF).


CONTACT US

For further information, contact:

Nutrient Trading Program
Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Clean Water ¦ Division of Operations
RCSOB, P.O. Box 8774
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-6744
RA-EPPANutrientTrad@pa.gov

The information outlined on this website is intended to supplement existing requirements. Nothing on this site shall affect regulatory requirements. The information herein is not an adjudication or a regulation. There is no intent on the part of the Department to give the information on this website that weight or deference. This information establishes the framework, within which the Department will exercise its administrative discretion in the future. The Department reserves the discretion to deviate from this statement if circumstances warrant.