Practice Areas

Client Alert - Nutrient Credit Auction Benefits Lycoming County and Farmers

Paul J. Bruder, Jr., Esquire

Pennsylvania's inaugural nutrient credit sale netted over $90,000, which was distributed mostly to area farmers that implemented land management practices designed to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that flows into local area streams, and, eventually, to the Chesapeake Bay. With stringent Bay cleanup guidelines in place and deadlines looming, combined with the ever-increasing expense of water treatment technology, many treatment plants and industrial dischargers view purchasing credits as a less expensive alternative to constructing plant upgrades. The nutrient credit trading program was designed to provide an option to such expensive upgrades, though the program may not be currently working as originally envisioned. Lycoming County has been out ahead of the curve with its Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Strategy, thanks to the efforts and commitment of the County Commissioners and Environmental Planning Department.

The news of the auction came on the heels of an announcement that two environmental conservation groups had received federal grants to help reduce pollution in several Northern Tier counties. While cleaning up the Bay may seems like an impossible uphill climb, it's encouraging to see folks so far away taking the task seriously. Click on the links below for local perspective on these stories.