On Feb. 6 at an event in Georgia, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross highlighted the Trump Administration’s efforts to accelerate investments in infrastructure and technology in an effort to improve America’s water quality. In an announcement, EPA said they are “seeking to modernize the agency’s water quality trading policies to leverage emerging technologies and facilitate broader adoption of market-based programs”.

As part of these efforts, Assistant Administrator Ross announced a new policy memorandum designed to help states, tribes and stakeholders use market-, incentive- and community-based programs to reduce excess nutrients and improve water quality in their communities.

“An important part of improving our nation’s water quality is leveraging the collective resources of the federal family and improving relationships with our partners on the ground,” said Ross. “Building on efforts already underway at the state, local and tribal level, EPA is taking a number of steps to help facilitate the use of a broad range of tools and technologies that will deliver critical water quality improvements at a lower cost".

EPA’s actions are part of a larger collaboration with stakeholders across the country to better coordinate and focus federal resources on some of the nation’s most challenging water resource concerns, including addressing excess nutrients in waterways.   In November, EPA and USDA sent a joint letter to state agricultural and environmental directors inviting engagement on market-based and other collaborative approaches to reducing excess nutrients.

Earlier this week, EPA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Water Research Foundation to develop affordable technologies to recycle nutrients from livestock manure.

EPA’s new trading memo identifies the following six Market Based Principles designed to encourage creativity and innovation in the development and implementation of programs that reduce pollutants in our Nation’s waters.  For more information and to read EPA’s press release on the memorandum, click here.

In addition, EPA plans to host a webinar on March 7 to discuss the trading memo and its ongoing work to reduce excess nutrients in waterways.

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This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

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This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
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