HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and the Department of Environmental Protection, along with financial information services company Markit, has held the first “forward” auction in 2012 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay watershed.
A “forward” auction means that the certified credits sold on March 21 will be delivered later and applied to the 2012-15 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.
“This auction once again demonstrates the viability of the financial mechanism that we have developed to aid in improving the waters of the Chesapeake Bay,” PENNVEST executive director Paul Marchetti said. “It significantly furthers our efforts to foster trades in the Bay watershed and we look forward to more auctions throughout the year.”
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 has provided operations and infrastructure services to environmental programs worldwide.
Credits representing the annual removal of 55,224 pounds of nitrogen from the Susquehanna River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay during 2012 were sold for $4 per credit. Credits representing the annual removal of 30,000 pounds of nitrogen from the Susquehanna River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay over each of the following three years, 2013 to 2015, were sold for $2.98 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, in turn, encourages more activity in the market. Hosting periodic auctions is one way for PENNVEST to facilitate these nutrient credit trades.
PENNVEST’s next forward auction is June 13. The enrollment period for that auction is expected to begin on April 23.
For more information, visit www.pennvest.state.pa.us or call 717-783-6798.