Subcommittee Hearing to Focus on Water Quality Trading as Tool for Addressing Water Pollution
The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, chaired by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), will hold a hearing next week on the potential use of water quality trading as an innovative, market-based mechanism to cost-effectively achieve local water quality improvements.
With enactment of the Clean Water Act, water quality in the United States has improved significantly. However, issues remain in many waterbodies around the nation. Achieving the next step in water quality improvements is proving to be more difficult; many of today’s remaining water quality problems are more dispersed, or significantly more costly to address.
Increasingly, many policymakers are interested in more cost-effective and market-based alternatives to traditional regulation. Water quality trading is one innovation that may enable water quality goals to be achieved more efficiently in some instances. Water quality trading allows certain dischargers or pollutant sources to achieve the same degree of control as others in the same area, but at lower cost. Trading allows sources with relatively low costs to generate credits by reducing loads in amounts greater than what is required of them. These credits can then be sold to others for whom the costs to achieve the same reductions are relatively much higher.
The hearing, entitled “The Role of Water Quality Trading in Achieving Clean Water Objectives,” is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
More information about the hearing, including testimony, additional background information and live webcast, will be posted here as it becomes available.
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