MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Abbruzzese, Ohio EPA (614) 644-2782
Bethany McCorkle, ODNR (614) 265-6860
Erica Pitchford, ODA (614) 752-9817

Ohio Joins Multi-State Water Quality Trading Plan

The State of Ohio today joined Indiana and Kentucky in the formation of a multi-state water quality trading plan that will have a positive impact on the rivers, streams and lakes in all of the states.

The Ohio River Basin Water Quality Project Pilot Trading Plan was signed by the states of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio and marks the start of the first consensus plan for interstate trading to reduce nutrients. The agreement provides businesses and municipalities a more economically viable option to efficiently reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in rivers, lakes and streams through agricultural conservation and best management practices in a watershed.

For example, a municipality or business that needs to meet water quality standards by reducing phosphorus can work with an agricultural partner upstream and provide financial assistance to farmers for conservation or best management practices to improve water quality in the watershed. These partnerships offer municipalities and businesses a more cost effective water quality improvement tool while helping to promote and encourage agricultural best practices and conservation in the watershed.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Agriculture are all partners in this multi-state pilot project. The program is unique in that all states will operate under the same rules and water quality credits in one state can be applied to another state.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved and is just another example of the innovative partnerships we are creating in Ohio to help improve water quality in our state,” said Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally. “By leveraging the resources at our state agencies, our universities, our research institutions and private businesses, we will continue to promote a healthy economic climate while protecting the environment.”

“We are partnering with neighboring states to implement a cohesive interstate trading program, which will establish an efficient and cost-effective option for improving water quality in the Ohio River Basin,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “This partnership was established because all parties involved recognize the importance of expedited action when dealing with the cleanliness of our water.”

“Ohio farmers are stepping up to learn more about nutrient management and about modern conservation technologies. I look forward to partnering with Indiana and Kentucky and learning how we can work together to improve water quality in our region,” said Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels.

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