PENNVEST, DEP Announce Results of Forward Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and the Department of Environmental Protection, along with financial information services company Markit, held on March 20 the first “forward” auction in 2013 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay watershed.

A “forward” auction means that the certified credits sold will be delivered later and applied to the 2013-15 compliance years. The auction affords wastewater treatment plants and other regulated entities the opportunity to purchase credits to meet their nitrogen and phosphorus discharge limits for these compliance years.

“PENNVEST’s and DEP’s commitment to helping Pennsylvania meet its nutrient discharge goals for the Chesapeake Bay watershed were further enhanced by this auction, ” PENNVEST executive director Paul Marchetti said. “We continue to work together and with all parties interested in trading to create a cost-effective and useful tool for Pennsylvania communities, farmers and, most importantly, for the health of our rivers, streams and, ultimately, the Bay.

PENNVEST hosts the auctions to encourage the trading of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds. DEP’s nutrient credit trading program offers a cost-effective way for facilities that are subject to nitrogen and phosphorus limits to meet those limits by working with other facilities, non-point sources or both.

For its auctions, PENNVEST is supported by Markit, which provides the platform for enrollment and eligibility, auctions and registry services. Markit provides operations and infrastructure services to environmental programs worldwide.

This was a two-round auction, with the first round in the morning and the second in the afternoon.  In the first round, the following credits were bought and sold:

Susquehanna nitrogen, 2013: 10,000 credits for $2.98 per credit; and
Susquehanna nitrogen, 2015: 5,000 credits for $3.12 per credit.

In the second round, the following credits were bought and sold:

Susquehanna nitrogen, 2013: 7,000 credits for $2.99 per credit; and
Susquehanna nitrogen, 2014: 5,000 credits for $3.05 per credit.

PENNVEST encourages the trading of nutrient credits by acting as a clearinghouse in the credit market, entering into contracts to buy and sell credits. By participating in these transactions, PENNVEST provides market certainty to buyers and sellers, which encourages more activity in the market. Hosting periodic auctions is one way for PENNVEST to facilitate these nutrient credit trades.

PENNVEST’s next auction is scheduled for June 12. This will be a “forward” auction of certified credits to be applied toward meeting nutrient discharge limits during the 2013-15 compliance years. The enrollment period for that auction is expected to begin on April 17.

For more information, visit www.pennvest.state.pa.us or call 717-783-4493.

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