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Nonpoint Source Pollution Reductions – Estimating a Tradable Commodity. Allen R. Dedrick Associate Deputy Administrator Natural Resources & Sustainable Agricultural Systems Agricultural Research Service U. S. Department of Agriculture. Research Support for Environmental Credit Trading.

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nonpoint source pollution reductions estimating a tradable commodity

Nonpoint Source Pollution Reductions – Estimating a Tradable Commodity

Allen R. Dedrick

Associate Deputy Administrator

Natural Resources & Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Agricultural Research Service

U. S. Department of Agriculture

research support for environmental credit trading

Research Support for Environmental Credit Trading

Allen R. Dedrick

Associate Deputy Administrator

Natural Resources & Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Agricultural Research Service

U. S. Department of Agriculture

environmental credit trading programs
Environmental credit trading programs
  • Market-based mechanisms for allocating pollutant reductions among different sources
  • Offer the lowest-cost methods to reduce net emissions
role of agricultural science in developing trading systems
Role of agricultural science in developing trading systems
  • Water quality and quantity included among goals
  • Market-based solutions should be developed

USDA Secretary Ann Veneman's vision for achieving conservation goals

role of agricultural science in developing trading systems5
Role of agricultural science in developing trading systems
  • Producers need voluntary conservation opportunities
  • Comprehensive conservation benefits index to assess value of all projects
    • Needs to be risk-based for objective scoring
    • Contracts awarded based on the greatest benefit/cost advantages

USDA Secretary Ann Veneman's vision for achieving conservation goals

role of agricultural science in developing trading systems6
Role of agricultural science in developing trading systems
  • Objectives include trading credits in ways that achieve ancillary environmental benefits beyond the required reductions in pollutant loads, e.g., creation and restoration of wetlands, floodplains, and wildlife habitat
  • Need technical tools for making site-specific determinations of nonpoint source reductions in pollutants

EPA's Water Quality Trading Policy

trading works best when
Trading works best when…..
  • The problem occurs over a large area
  • There are many sources responsible for the problem
  • The cost of controls varies from one source to another
  • Emissions can be consistently and accurately measured
major contributions from research organizations
Major contributions from research organizations
  • Developing methods for quantifying emissions and reductions under different conditions and at different scales (time and space)
  • Comparing methods for efficiency
  • Developing and improving ways to reduce nonpoint source pollutants
major contributions from research organizations9
Major contributions from research organizations
  • Incorporating ancillary benefits whenever possible
  • Developing environmental benefits indices that are risk-based, are quantifiable, and can be assigned monetary value
research is an important part of usda s mission
Research is an important part of USDA’s mission
  • “Practical and scientific experiments” since 1862.
  • By World War II, USDA received about 40% of all Federal research funds.
  • Agricultural Research Administration created during World War II.
  • Agricultural Research Service created in 1953.
slide11

ARS

CSREES

ERS

NASS

agriculture in u s economy
Agriculture in U.S. Economy
  • 16% of the $9 trillion U.S. gross domestic product
  • 17% of employed
  • 8% of U.S. exports in 1999
  • <2% U.S. workforce on farms
  • 100% of the citizens are users
ars improves the way america produces and uses food and fiber
ARS improves the way America produces and uses food and fiber.
  • Quality and nutritional value
  • Sustainability of natural resources and environmental quality
  • Economic value for producers, consumers, and communities
ars laboratory locations
ARS Laboratory Locations
  • 104 Locations, ~70 in Natural Resources
  • $1 billion annual budget (FY03), ~$175 million annually in NR
  • ~2,000 scientists
  • 1,000+ research projects
examples of ars research products that support development of environmental credit trading programs
Examples of ARS research products that support development of environmental credit trading programs
  • Measurement technologies for nutrients and sediments in water
  • Models to estimate nutrients and sediments in water on different geographic scales
examples of ars research products that support development of environmental credit trading programs16
Examples of ARS research products that support development of environmental credit trading programs
  • Models linking pollutants, pollutant reductions, and “downstream” impacts
  • Information linking management practices to nutrients and sediments in water
measurement technologies for nutrients and sediments in water
Measurement technologies for nutrients and sediments in water
  • Acoustic, radar, and visible light technologies for measuring sediment loads in water
  • Automated stream sampling
models to estimate nutrients and sediments in water on different geographic scales
Models to estimate nutrients and sediments in water on different geographic scales
  • Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) – an updated version of USLE that estimates soil erosion by raindrop impact and surface runoff, which then contributes to sediments in surface waters.
  • Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)- widely accepted by government agencies for estimating loading and transport of sediments and nutrients in river basins.
models to estimate nutrients and sediments in water on different geographic scales19
Models to estimate nutrients and sediments in water on different geographic scales
  • HUMUS (Hydrologic Unit Model for the United States) is based on SWAT and a GIS interface
models linking pollutants pollutant reductions and downstream impacts
Models linking pollutants, pollutant reductions, and “downstream” impacts
  • Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model (AGNPS) - predicts non-point source pollutant loadings within agricultural watersheds, assists with determining Best Management Practices, Total Maximum Daily Loads, risks to environmental resources, and cost-benefit analyses
information linking management practices to nutrients and sediments in water
Information linking management practices to nutrients and sediments in water
  • Impacts of riparian buffers, tillage systems, and other management practices on surface runoff
  • Reducing nitrogen fertilizer movement into surface and ground waters
information linking management practices to nutrients and sediments in water22
Information linking management practices to nutrients and sediments in water
  • Development of national phosphorus index to minimize nutrient losses into surface and groundwater
  • Applications of precision farming for environmental benefits
research opportunities
Research opportunities
  • Conduct modeling, field experiments, and case studies to determine which Farm Bill conservation practices promote an optimum combination of pollutant load reduction, or carbon sequestration, versus intended or ancillary benefits.
research opportunities24
Research opportunities
  • Develop models that can integrate prediction of non-point source nutrient loading along with carbon sequestration, to examine total environmental benefits of programs and practices
conservation effects assessment project ceap
Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)
  • The principal focus of the CEAP effort is to produce an assessment of environmental benefits derived from implementing USDA conservation programs.
  • The project has two major components and reporting scales:
    • National Assessment
    • Watershed Assessment
ceap conservation practices that will be emphasized include
CEAP--Conservation practices that will be emphasized include…
  • conservation buffers
  • nutrient management
  • pest management
  • tillage management
  • pest management
  • irrigation management
research is an important foundation for any environmental credit trading program
Research is an important foundation for any environmental credit trading program
  • Existing tools may need modification for estimating nonpoint source pollutants and reductions on a large geographic scale.
  • Monitoring tools and methods must be rapid and inexpensive for wide application.
research is an important foundation for any environmental credit trading program29
Research is an important foundation for any environmental credit trading program
  • New conservation practices must be developed and tested under different conditions for reliability.
  • Research reduces uncertainties in estimating pollutant reductions, thus contributing to their increased economic value.