Nutrient credit trading program allows Harrisburg wastewater plant to meet Chesapeake Bay limits more cost effectively

Sponsored by

• DEP-issued permit includes nutrient credit purchases, saving ratepayers $28 million

HARRISBURG, PA, Dec. 4, 2009 -- Ratepayers of the Harrisburg Authority's wastewater treatment plant may save nearly $30 million under the conditions of a new discharge permit issued today by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP's permit requires the authority to purchase nutrient credits in combination with facility upgrades to ensure the treatment plant complies with new Chesapeake Bay nutrient discharge limits. The limits, known as cap loads, pertain to nitrogen and phosphorus and are required to meet water quality standards that Maryland adopted in 2005.

"Combining construction and nutrient credit trading was the authority's most cost-effective solution for meeting these nutrient cap loads," said DEP South-central Regional Office Director Rachel Diamond. "We encourage municipalities and authorities to find creative solutions to reduce pollution while limiting the impact on ratepayers. For other treatment plants throughout the state's Chesapeake Bay watershed, using nutrient credit trading as opposed to relying solely on capital upgrades has helped to reduce the costs to ratepayers."

The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit calls for the authority to begin purchasing nitrogen and phosphorous credits in 2011. The facility upgrade project that will be part of the authority's overall compliance strategy is estimated to cost $35 million and must be completed by 2014.

By purchasing nutrient credits, the authority estimates that it will save $28 million over the next 20 years, which will save ratepayers an estimated $48 per year on sewer service charges.

The authority solicited bids for the nutrient credits in the state's first public bidding last fall.

Nutrient credit trading is a market-based program that provides incentives for dischargers to earn nutrient reduction credits by going beyond legal obligations to remove nutrients from a watershed. The credits can then be sold to help others more cost-effectively meet their nutrient reduction obligations or goals.

For more information, visit or call 717-705-4700.


Sponsored by

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Water Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox or Mailbox

Subscribe to one of our magazines or email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information.


Ovivo, Microdyn-Nadir form strategic partnership to service national MBR market

Ovivo recently signed an unprecedented, multi-year agreement with Microdyn-Nadir to service the U.S. membrane bioreactor market. The agreement secures access to BIO-CEL membrane technology and includes a collaborative venture to build private-label membrane equipment.

Itron convenes industry leaders at 2015 Utility Week to explore resourceful innovation

Itron is hosting its 2015 Utility Week, the company's annual utility event, which serves to highlight the latest industry technology, foster collaboration and share stories of best practices between gas, water and electric utilities.

Water startup to improve seawater desalination with innovative RO technology

According to Jaime Mateus, CEO of Anfiro, a water technology startup addressing global freshwater scarcity, his company -- based on innovations from Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame -- could improve membranes used in seawater desalination plants.

EPA settles with East Bay MUD over hazardous waste violations

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a settlement with East Bay Municipal Utility District for improper management of hazardous waste at its Oakland wastewater treatment plant. The public utility agreed to pay a $99,900 penalty.




© 2015. PennWell Corporation. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS