Regional projects offer unique opportunities to demonstrate large-scale approaches to solving our water quality challenges. Regional water quality trading projects result in increased efficiencies through economies of scale by providing access to a larger market, allowing for a greater geographical reach.
The Chesapeake Bay represents the largest most comprehensive test of water quality markets in the country. The cost of compliance with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, released by EPA in 2010, will be high, especially for urban areas, creating the demand for water quality credits. Credits for water quality improvements on agriculture and forest land will be a cost-effective alternative to expensive structural pollution control practices.