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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AG02 Publication ID: Spring 2022 
Title: Market-Based Approaches Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program 

EPA supports market-based mechanisms to accomplish its mission to protect human health and the environment especially with regard to nutrient management. Market-based mechanisms include water quality trading under the Clean Water Act (CWA), an approach that may cost less than more traditional regulatory approaches. The Agency has long interpreted the CWA to allow pollutant reductions from water quality trading and offsets to achieve compliance with CWA regulatory requirements. Neither the CWA nor the EPA's implementing regulations explicitly address water quality trading. In the absence of explicit statutory language or regulations, EPA has provided guidance for permitting authorities and stakeholders to consider when developing market-based programs, including water quality trading. However, EPA is aware that despite its efforts to support these types of programs, they have not been implemented to their fullest potential. In response, the Agency is proposing a regulation to clarify how water quality trading and other market-based approaches may be used by NPDES permitting authorities in permits to meet applicable water quality standards. In addition to this rulemaking, EPA is updating its existing policy to address water quality trading baseline” issues for nonpoint sources in watersheds with EPA established or approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 122   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2023 
Final Rule  10/00/2023 
Additional Information: .
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Related to 2040-ZA37 
Agency Contact:
Kevin Weiss
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
4203M, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-0742
Fax:202 564-0717