Maryland Nutrient Trading Symposium to be held on January 8
Baltimore, MD — The public is invited to attend the Maryland Nutrient Trading Symposium to be held January 8, 2016, at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The day-long symposium is sponsored by the Maryland Departments of the Environment and Agriculture in collaboration with the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Maryland Grain Producers.
In recent years, nutrient trading has emerged as a promising strategy for bringing cost-effectiveness and market-driven efficiency to the achievement of nutrient reduction goals. Nutrient trading is an important element of Maryland’s approach for restoring the Bay by creating opportunities for the sectors facing the highest costs to meet a portion of their responsibilities by purchasing offsets or credits created by other sources.
In October, the Maryland Departments of the Environment and Agriculture released the Maryland Nutrient Trading Policy Statement in announcing that Maryland is pursuing new tools for faster, better restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. The Policy Statement is a road map for the development of cross-sector, water quality trading programs that use innovation, economies of scale, and public-private partnerships to speed improvements to the Bay and local rivers and streams.
At the time of the announcement, Governor Larry Hogan said, “The Chesapeake Bay is one of our most important, valuable and beloved resources and our cleanup efforts will not stop until the Bay is restored. These new tools, which make sense both economically and environmentally, are yet another example of our commitment to preserving our natural resources for generations to come.”
The path forward includes the issuance, with input from a stakeholder advisory group, of guidelines that would be used to initiate trades within Maryland. It also includes the adoption of regulations proposed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture establishing the requirements and standards for the generation, verification, and certification of nutrient and sediment credits on agricultural lands.
In noting that the new regulations will be published in the Maryland Register on December 28, Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder said, “These new regulations will clarify the role of agriculture in helping to achieve the State’s water quality goals and provide a framework for farmers and landowners to access new sources of revenue for the financing of conservation practices and the generation of supplemental farm income.”
The symposium, which is another part of the road map, will address the basic concepts of trading and the role of trading in Bay restoration efforts, as well as the State’s current approach to trading and its future plans. The agenda also will afford significant time for questions and dialogue among all participants.
“Trading means upgrading and accelerating the cleanup through teamwork and innovation,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “We are building upon, not replacing, regulatory tools with smarter strategies and broader partnerships.”
The cost to attend the event is $25 per person and includes continental breakfast and lunch. To register and find information about the agenda, presenters, location, directions, and contacts, visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ebz1i8tw7900a9df&llr=ne7awrma .
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