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TODAY: EPA, USDA and White House to Highlight New Market-Based Water Quality Trading Program in Virginia

Release Date: 12/16/2014
Contact Information: press@epa.gov

WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold a press conference with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack, Mike Boots of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a private investor and an Appomattox, VA farmer to recognize an innovative, market-based nutrient trading program that Virginia has embraced to encourage economic investments and reduce phosphorus pollution to local waterways in order to meet water quality goals for the Chesapeake Bay.

By offsetting increases in phosphorus loads, nutrient trading provides important economic incentives for farmers, including cost savings, new income, and employment opportunities, in addition to environmental benefits, such as air quality improvements, enhanced wildlife habitat, and carbon capture and storage. The Commonwealth of Virginia has created a market supply and demand for land conservation projects, taking nutrient trading from the conceptual level to an on-the-ground program that benefits the environment, reduces costs to the Commonwealth, and provides income to farmers.
Both EPA and USDA have long supported the concept of market-based approaches to improve water quality, and EPA is developing additional resources for states across the country to pursue similar programs.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

      9:30 a.m. EST
WHO: Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
          Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary
          Mike Boots, White House Council on Environmental Quality
          Terry McAuliffe, Commonwealth of Virginia Governor
          John Harrison, Appomattox farmer raising cattle, managing hay and timber lands
          Brent Fults, founder of Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Land Trust, LLC

WHERE: McConnell Public Safety Transportation Operation Center
      4890 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
RSVP: Media who would like to attend the event should contact press@epa.gov
***NOTE: Media will need to check-in upon arrival at the secure facility. Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the event.

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