2015 Briefing Recap: Nutrient Trading

On April 27, 2015 the NEMWI hosted a Capitol Hill briefing, discussing the potential for nutrient trading to help address nutrient management challenges. Nutrient trading is a potential solution to conservation efforts to partner non-point and point-source nutrient inputs in order to reduce the overall levels of nutrients entering the waters. Speakers for the event included: Elin Betanzo, NEMWI Sr. Policy Analyst, who will discuss her collaborative work with the U.S. Geological Survey on water monitoring infrastructure; Bruce Knight, former chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service; Brent Fewell, head of the National Water Quality Trading Alliance; Alex Echols, NEMWI Board Member; and Victoria Pebbles with the Great Lakes Commission. Speakers provided staff background on nutrient trading; benefits of the approach; challenges, both legal and practical; an overview of the infrastructure necessary to implement nutrient trading in hot spots, including the Ohio River, the Fox River, and the Mississippi River; specific examples of these challenges as well as starting up a nutrient trading program for the Fox River in Wisconsin; and the federal role throughout the many steps. Materials are available here.

Honorary cosponsors of this briefing were Senate Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Senator Mark Kirk and Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senate Vice-Chairs Senator Rob Portman and Senator Amy Klobuchar, House Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Congresswoman Miller, Congresswoman Kaptur, Congressman Duffy, and Congresswoman Slaughter.