multiplying the reductions by a factor of per kg per year, the estimated cost
for removing kg of nutrient per year using
The rate was drawn from
BMP funding experiencein the adjoining
River basin (Appendix 2).
sources, the trading program is more comprehensive
than the original NSW strategy. Dischargers are benefitting from the increased
flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the trading approach. An important reason for
phasing the program was to obtain better technical information regarding the
impact of nutrients on the estuary, the sources- of nutrients, and the effectiveness
of management alternatives during the initial phase.
Implementing the Nutrient Trading Program
Implementation of the Nutrient Trading Program is being divided into phases.
Phase 1 of the program began in 1989 and will end in 1994. During this time the
trading approach is being evaluated and will be refined and re-negotiated as
Ten of the 21 major dischargers (representing over 90 percent of the permitted
wasteflow) in the Tar-Pamlico basin have joined the Association. Two smaller
is a member
municipal dischargers are also members. One industrial
of the Association; however, its membership includes an exemption from weekly
monitoring provisions. Membership in the Association is voluntary, but if
dischargers choose not to participate in the nutrient trading program they are
subject to the NSW nitrogen and phosphorus limits as previously discussed.
Under the Tar-Pamlico Nutrient Trading Program, dischargers are free to trade
reduction debits and credits among themselves, as long as total loading goals for
the basin are not exceeded. To date, no such trading has
Association members to maximize the cost-effectiveness of their operations and
avoids the inefficiencies and costs associated with prescribing controls for each
discharger. However, NCDEM will continue to use individualized permitting and
enforcement to control any localized impacts that may occur.
During the implementation phase, NCDEM has formally adopted a Basinwide
Planning process. Under
a basin is viewed as the basic unit
for water quality management.
allows NCDEM to better focus and coordinate
efforts within a basin, and evaluate basinwide management efforts, such as
nutrient trading. NCDEM is currently preparing a draft basin plan for the
Funding BMP implementation and Maintenance
The Association payments go to the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water
Conservation, which then distributes the monies to the local Soil and Water