EPA, USDA Encourage Collaborative Approaches to Address Excess Nutrients

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture issued a letter this week to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. David Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water, says stakeholders have made significant progress reducing excess nutrients in some watersheds, adding “now is the time to build on that success.” EPA and USDA are committed to working with stakeholders to identify watersheds where market-based approaches can supplement traditional regulatory programs to reduce excess nutrients and improved water quality. The agencies say this work could include providing technical and financial support and participating in problem-solving at the local level to explore approaches including water quality credit trading, public-private partnerships, pay-for-success, supply chain programs, and more. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says farmers are leading the way toward improved water quality by taking steps to decrease sedimentation and nutrient runoff, but adds ”we know more can be done.”