NMPF Commends Maryland’s Efforts to Create Water Quality Trading Program
January 5, 2018
NMPF expressed support this month for the Maryland Department of Environment’s regulation to establish a water quality trading program, one that could serve as model for how other states provide opportunities for dairy farmers to benefit from the management of nutrients.
In its comments, NMPF endorsed the nutrient removal technologies that will be eligible to participate in the program – an issue the organization raised several times over the years as Maryland officials worked on the issue. NMPF also requested that trading not be limited in terms of time, and that a trading system with a duration of 10 or more years is needed to make the economics of nutrient removal technologies work. Otherwise, interest in technology-based nutrient removal solutions will not materialize. NMPF believes nutrient removal technologies can play an important role in the MDE’s trading program.
Unfortunately, Maryland’s plan to reallocate $10 million from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) to water quality trading for nutrient credit purchases did not come to fruition. Had the proposal been approved, it would have created enormous interest in the nutrient trading program. NMPF was also disappointed that piloting interstate trades within the Chesapeake Bay watershed suffered a similar fate. Regardless, NMPF commended both the MDE and the Maryland Department of Agriculture for creating the program and the rule. NMPF will continue to support Maryland effort to establish a workable water quality trading program.