The Pacific Northwest on Water Quality Trading
Joint Regional Recommendations on Water Quality Trading
We worked with Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to release recommendations for improving water quality across the region.
In 2013, a growing interest in water quality trading in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a variety of ways to trade, sparked a need for consistency, transparency, and credibility in such programs across the region.
Willamette Partnership led a team of partners to identify common principles and practices to guide water quality trading in the Northwest. The group consisted of water quality agency staff from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, Willamette Partnership, and The Freshwater Trust. Together, we compared and contrasted approaches across the region and created a set of shared recommendations for how to use trading programs to further clean water goals.
WHO WAS INVOLVED?
- Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Washington Department of Ecology
- Willamette Partnership
- The Freshwater Trust
The Regional Recommendations were released in 2014 and each state worked with local stakeholders and their own policy processes to test out some of the ideas.
- Oregon used the recommendations as part of the public process to establish its water quality trading rule.
- Idaho considered some of the recommendations as part of the public process to update its state Water Quality Pollutant Trading Guidance.
- The National on Water Quality Trading used the recommendations to inform its publication, Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations.
These policy innovations have made it easier for regulators, permittees, and landowners to build programs that invest compliance dollars in conservation that gets results, saves money for ratepayers, supports local economies, and provides multiple additional benefits to soil, air, and wildlife.
Establishing a credible water quality trading program is not simple and trading may not be appropriate for many water quality problems. However, when designed well and combined with other tools, we believe that trading programs can help achieve water quality goals in a way that is accountable, based on sound science, consistent with the Clean Water Act, and beneficial to the environment and local landowners.
Get in touch about our recommendations for water quality trading in the Pacific Northwest.