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March 25, 2014

Farmer Testifies on Complexities of Water Quality Trading

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Water quality trading is a system that allows an entity to purchase nutrient credits from another entity. American Farm Bureau supports the concept of water quality trading, but believes there are scientific, market and regulatory challenges associated with it. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyPennsylvania Farm Bureau president Carl Shaffer testified to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment today about challenges associated with water quality trading.
ShafferMy main concern is in Pennsylvania, we have nutrient trading, and we’re already seeing EPA moving the bar up higher what would account for nutrient credit, and making it very difficult for farmers to attain that.
OtterbyFor a water quality trading system to work, Shaffer says EPA will have to back off of some of those heavy regulations. He says a beneficial trading system must be simple, spelled out and regulated by states. Water quality trading has many benefits, he says.
ShafferIt’s an affordable way to bring the environment into compliance. It’s a way of doing projects, such as cover cropping or no-tilling, and getting paid for it to help pay for those extra costs for implementing those best management practices.
OtterbyShaffer says a properly designed and implemented trading system can help make reaching nutrient water quality standards more affordable.

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