EPA and USDA Launch Innovative Nutrient Financing Webinar Series to Help Improve America’s Water Quality
WASHINGTON June 12, 2019) — As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing efforts to promote creative problem solving and market-based approaches to reduce excess nutrients in our nation’s waterways, EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are kicking off a webinar series to educate the public on financing opportunities that are available to improve water quality.
“Reducing excess nutrients and improving water quality is a priority for EPA and we are pleased to continue our collaboration with USDA on these important issues,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “These joint webinars build on our recent water quality trading policy and are intended to inform stakeholders about funding opportunities and ideas that can integrate point and non-point pollution reduction strategies to accelerate progress toward improving water quality across the country.”
“USDA is working through a multi-tiered partnership approach across the nation to support positive change for the future of water in our nation,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “In these webinars, we will offer technical and financial information that will have a positive benefit for water quality, agricultural production and people.”
On June 12, 2019, EPA and USDA will co-host the first of four webinars on financing opportunities that states, tribes and stakeholders can pursue to implement water quality improvements on a watershed- and landscape-scale. During the June 12 webinar, speakers will highlight financing opportunities from EPA and USDA for point source and non-point source nutrient reductions. Upcoming webinars will be held this summer to address additional innovative financing concepts for reducing excess nutrients, featuring case studies of successful approaches from across the country. Upcoming webinar topics will also include private sector financing solutions and stormwater nutrient reduction.
Under the Trump Administration, EPA is focusing its attention on reducing nutrient losses through enhanced federal and state coordination and stakeholder engagement. In February 2019, the agency issued a water quality trading policy memorandum to promote lower cost nutrient reductions and water quality improvements using market-based and other collaborative mechanisms. The memo identified six Market Based Principles designed to encourage creativity and innovation in the development and implementation of programs that reduce pollutants in the nation’s waters, including a principle dedicated to encouraging innovative financing approaches to improve water quality.
EPA’s February 2019 Water Quality Trading Memo is part of a series of actions that the agency and its federal partners are taking to support stakeholders in addressing excess nutrients in the nation’s waterways. In December 2018, EPA and USDA issued a letter to state co-regulators encouraging a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative approaches. In February 2019, EPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Water Research Foundation to develop affordable technologies to recycle nutrients from livestock manure. In May 2019, EPA hosted a roundtable with federal, state and local partners focused on identifying opportunities to reduce nutrient losses across the country. EPA also recently announced the availability of $14 million to reduce excess nutrients in the Great Lakes, including for innovative water quality trading projects.
Registration is limited. EPA plans to post a recording of the webinar on the agency’s website shortly after. To register for the June 12 webinar and upcoming EPA-USDA nutrient financing webinars, visit https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/water-finance-webinars-and-forums#upcomingwebinar.
For more information on EPA’s efforts to address excess nutrients, visit: https://www.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/collaborative-approaches-reducing-excess-nutrients.