Waterbriefs: Pa. DEP publishes revised trading policy for water quality improvement

Also in this report: GL&V buys pulp process technologies from Metso; Canada signs agreement for public infrastructure development at Mont Tremblant; Compton Mayor Pro Tem appointed chair of Metropolitan Board committee; USDOE denies Calif. petition for separate water standards for washers; USDA food, water expert to head Produce Safety & Security International advisory board; SUEZ wins a major power-desalination co-location contract in Middle East...

In other news below:
-- GL&V completes acquisition of pulp process technologies from Metso Corp.
-- Canada signs agreement for development of public infrastructure at Mont Tremblant
-- Compton Mayor Pro Tem Isadore Hall appointed chair of Metropolitan Board committee
-- USDOE denies Calif. petition for separate water standards for washers
-- USDA food, water expert to head Produce Safety & Security International advisory board
-- SUEZ wins a major power-desalination co-location contract in Oman

Pa. DEP publishes revised trading policy for water quality improvement -- HARRISBURG, PA, Dec. 29, 2006 -- Following a year of extensive stakeholder meetings and public input, the Department of Environmental Protection has published the final version of its Trading of Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Credits - Policy and Guidelines. Also published is Appendix A, which provides nutrient trading criteria specific to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

In addition, three attachments to Appendix A including the Point Source Allocation Strategy, Overview of Wastewater Planning Program Procedures, and the Overview of the Agriculture Sector's Participation in Nutrient Trading are also available. All the final documents can be viewed on the department's Nutrient Trading website at www.depweb.state.pa.us (Keyword "Nutrient Trading") and will be posted in the Dec. 30 edition of the Pa Bulletin.

Most of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries have been listed as impaired under the federal Clean Water Act for a number of years. Pennsylvania has actively participated in a broader joint effort among states and EPA to restore the Bay, including signing the Chesapeake Bay 2000 agreement. As part of that coordinated multi-state effort, DEP released Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy (CBTS) in December 2004.

This strategy includes specific initiatives to address reductions from point sources (e.g., sewage treatment plants) and non-point sources (e.g., agricultural operations).

One component of the CBTS is the use of market mechanisms to accomplish environmental improvement more effectively and at less cost. To this end, the department published an Interim Final Trading Policy and Guidelines on October 1, 2005. This established for the commonwealth a voluntary trading program that can be used as an option for point or non-point sources that exceed their environmental obligations to earn nutrient reduction credits that may be sold to others who desire such credits.

In January 2006, the department refocused and expanded the standing Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy Steering Committee, composed of representatives from various impacted stakeholder organizations, to continue to discuss the wide variety of issues about the CBTS, including trading. The steering committee formed several workgroups to allow for more focused discussion on specific aspects of the CBTS and to provide feedback to the steering committee on issues they identified. These included workgroups on trading, point source allocations, agriculture and stormwater/development. Details of the process and workgroup proceedings can be found on the department's Chesapeake Bay Web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us (Keyword "Chesapeake Bay").

The Steering Committee, chaired by Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty, and the workgroups met a number of times during 2006. Over 25 organizations and approximately 60 individuals were involved in this extensive stakeholder process. As a result of the process, the department made significant revisions to certain aspects of its CBTS and much of the initial Trading Policy and Program. A new draft Trading Policy was published for comment on November 15, 2006, and public comments were invited for 30 days.

These comments, along with those submitted in the first comment period, have been addressed by the department in a separate Comment and Response document that will be posted on the department's Nutrient Trading Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword "Nutrient Trading."

The final version of the policy and other documents enhances the commonwealth's general trading policy and provides guidance for the generation and trading of nutrient and sediment reduction credits. The guidance is also intended to assist individuals through the process of submitting proposals for the approval, certification, verification and registration of credits, and to describe how nutrient reduction credits may be used to fulfill a permit requirement. Appendix A provides additional details on how this trading program will be implemented in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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Among other recent headlines:

GL&V completes acquisition of pulp process technologies from Metso Corp. -- MONTREAL, QB, Canada, Dec. 29, 2006 -- Groupe LaPerriere & Verreault Inc. (GL&V), parent company of EIMCO Water Technologies and Brackett Green, is pleased to announce the closing of the transaction, disclosed on Dec. 12, pursuant to which GL&V acquires from Metso Corp. the technologies and certain other assets relating to the pulp washing, oxygen delignification and bleaching business of the Swedish Kvaerner Pulping, including the Compact Press® wash press technology, along with Metso's SuperBatch™ cooking technology. This transaction follows Metso's acquisition of part of Aker Kvaerner's operations...

Canada's new government, Station Mont Tremblant sign agreement for development of public infrastructure at Mont Tremblant -- MONT TREMBLANT, QB, Canada, Dec. 29, 2006 -- The Government of Canada and Station Mont Tremblant, today announced the signing of a contribution agreement for public infrastructure development for Mont Tremblant. The federal government will contribute up to $47.5 million toward the development of public infrastructure, such as roads and sidewalks at Versant Soleil and Versant Nord at Mont Tremblant. This contribution is consistent with an equivalent contribution from the Government of Quebec. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, accompanied by the vice president and general manager of Station Mont Tremblant, Bryce Fraser, along with youth and dignitaries marked the signing of the contribution agreement with the unveiling of a scale model of Versant Soleil. The development of Versant Soleil and Versant Nord is estimated at over $1 billion. In addition, under the agreement with the Government of Canada, Station Mont Tremblant will transfer public infrastructure to the municipality of Mont Tremblant. This includes roadways, sidewalks, water and wastewater systems, and recreational paths. The federal contribution for this project comes from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and will be used to finance public infrastructure and public equipment. In Budget 2006, Canada's new government announced an unprecedented $16.5 billion in funding for infrastructure...
Also see:
-- "Manitoba's Parkland Benefits from $2.8 Million for Wastewater Upgrades and Expansion"
-- "$569,344 invested in Sainte-Justine for drinking water treatment"
-- "$2.7 Million for Infrastructure Projects in Manitoba's Interlake"
-- "Three Northern Manitoba Communities Benefit from $5.4 Million for Water Treatment"

Compton Mayor Pro Tem Isadore Hall appointed chair of Metropolitan Board committee -- LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28, 2006 -- Compton Mayor Pro Tem Isadore Hall III has been named chairman of the communications and legislation committee of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Metropolitan Chairman Timothy Brick appointed Hall, the city's representative on the 37-member MWD board since February 2004, to the position as part of a committee restructuring announced at the board's Dec. 12 meeting. Hall will begin his two-year term as committee chair Jan. 1. Larry D. Dick, one of four directors representing the Municipal Water District of Orange County on Metropolitan's board, will serve as committee vice chair...
Also see: "Timothy F. Brick elected chairman of Metropolitan Water Board of Directors: Pasadena representative selected to lead board of Southland's principal water import agency"

AHAM applauds U.S. Department of Energy's denial of California petition for separate water standards for residential clothes washers -- WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 28, 2006 -- The appliance industry today applauded the decision by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to deny a petition by the California Energy Commission (CEC) seeking separate water usage regulations for residential clothes washers sold in the state.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), this important decision, announced today, recognizes the wisdom of Congress' decision to enact the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) which established national standards for appliance energy efficiency. Had the CEC's "Petition for Exemption from Federal Preemption of California's Water Conservation Standards for Residential Clothes Washers" been granted, California would have been permitted to deviate from DOE's highly successful national energy efficiency program for these products, and establish separate efficiency standards for residential clothes washers sold in the state...
Also see: "DOE Denies California's Petition for Separate Water Standards for Washers" (Appliance Magazine)

Dr. Floyd Horn named chairman of Produce Safety & Security International Scientific Advisory Board -- WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 28, 2006 -- Distinguished food safety and agricultural security research expert and former Administrator of the Department of Agriculture's principal internal research arm, the Agricultural Research Service, Dr. Floyd P. Horn, has been named as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Produce Safety and Security International Inc. (PSI) -- a leading food safety and sanitation technology company. From December 2001 to June 2002, Dr. Horn was Director of Food, Agriculture and Water Security at the White House Office of Homeland Security, a newly formed unit established within the Executive Office of the President at the White House...

SUEZ wins a major power-desalination co-location contract in Middle East -- Construction, operation of an electric power plant combined with a seawater desalination plant; purchase of an existing power plant, the first one to be privatized in the electric sector in the Sultanate Oman -- PARIS, Dec. 28, 2006 -- On Dec. 11, SUEZ Energy International, in a consortium gathering Mubadala Development and National Trading Company, and benefiting from Degremont's reverse osmosis technology, won the Barka 2 IWPP (Independent Water and Power Project) in the Sultanate Oman. Awarded by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (PWP), the contract won by the SUEZ Energy International-led consortium calls for the construction and operation of a 678 MW power plant and a seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 120,000 m3/day. The sale of the facility's electricity and potable water production is guaranteed for 15 years by a Power and Water Purchase Agreement with Oman Power and Water Procurement Company. The contract also provides for the purchase of an existing 665 MW power plant (Al-Rusail Power Company), from Electricity Holding Company (EHC), owned by the government of Oman. It is the first state-owned power plant to be privatized in the Sultanate of Oman. Electricity produced by the Al-Rusail plant is covered by a Power Purchase Agreement with Oman Power and Water Procurement Company that runs until 2022. With this new project, SUEZ will have almost 1,400 MW of additional power generation and 120,000 m3/day capacity in the Middle East, bringing its electricity generating capacity in the region to 5,500 MW (i.e. half of the installed capacity in Belgium) and its potable water production capacity to over 1,000,000 m3/day...

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