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RRBC Approves Plan to Test Watershed-based Private Pollution Management Entity

The Capital

Richmond, Virginia

Wednesday, December 1

The Rappahannock River Basin Commission has taken another step forward in its multi-year program to implement market-based solutions to restore water quality in the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay. At their quarterly meeting, in a unanimous vote (with one abstention), the Commission has decided to move forward with the testing of a pollution banking type of platform to facilitate pollution reduction innovation and cost-effectiveness, called the Trust for a Clean Water Economy – Rappahannock Watershed.

Although the timing of the project dovetails nicely with the Commonwealth’s plans to begin implementation of its Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) in 2011 to meet EPA’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Bay, the project actually has its roots in a more far-reaching mission – to synergistically link a watershed’s economy with ecosystem health. Therefore, while it may prove to be a helpful or ultimately perhaps essential tool to efficiently put the watershed on what EPA calls a “pollution diet”, the project should be properly considered as a “wellness plan” that leads to pollution reduction as a byproduct of enhanced ecosystem-friendly economic development.

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