AMSA Applauds EPA’s Water Quality Trading Policy

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - January 13, 2003

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2003
Contact: Adam Krantz, 202/833-4651, AMSA

AMSA Applauds EPA’s Water Quality Trading Policy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its national water quality trading policy today, which offers publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) nationwide an opportunity to meet regulatory obligations under the Clean Water Act via a flexible, market-based approach. AMSA applauds EPA for its commitment to developing voluntary programs that offer POTWs increased flexibility and choices in performing their critical task of ensuring the nation’s water quality.

AMSA is also proud that its member and Vice President, Thomas “Buddy” Morgan, General Manager, Montgomery Water Works & Sanitary Sewer Board, Montgomery, Alabama, played an integral role in pilot-testing a watershed-based, water quality trading program in support of EPA’s initiative. Buddy Morgan also testified on the merits of water quality trading in a June 13, 2002 hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, helping to develop broad-based support for the concept of water quality trading.

As Ken Kirk, AMSA’s Executive Director, notes, “POTWs nationwide believe that innovative, watershed-based approaches must be the centerpieces of ultimately ensuring the nation’s water quality future. AMSA and its member in Montgomery, Alabama, have worked collaboratively with EPA on the water quality trading policy and we look forward to making sure that innovative, market-based approaches continue to be implemented. AMSA is pleased that this voluntary approach can be applied on an intra-plant basis within a single POTW, on an inter-plant basis between point sources, and between point and nonpoint sources as well.”

The water quality trading policy is also an important example of an innovative program that will help bring nonpoint sources of pollution, such as agriculture, to the table by establishing economic incentives for voluntary reductions from point and nonpoint sources within a watershed. As EPA itself attests, nonpoint sources continue to be the primary cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although the trading policy offers an avenue to address nonpoint pollution, much more work must be done in this critical arena.

AMSA will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the implementation of the credit trading policy takes into account the concerns and needs of the POTW community and to ensure that additional steps will be taken to fully address the issue of nonpoint source pollution. Innovative, market-based programs, however, remain vital in helping POTWs continue to perform the public service of ensuring water quality under the Clean Water Act.

AMSA is a national trade association representing more than 280 publicly owned treatment works across the country. As environmental practitioners, AMSA’s members treat more than 18 billion gallons of wastewater each day and service the majority of the U.S. population.

1816 Jefferson Place, Washington, DC 20036-2505 • 202.833.AMSA • 202.833.4657 FAX