FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2019 Contact:
Utilities Services Division
Meeting Notice for Proposed Regulation of
Nutrient Trading for Water Quality Discharge
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Northwest Arkansas Nutrient Trading Research and Advisory Group (NANTRAG) will hold a meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 8 at the Illinois River Watershed Sanctuary and Learning Center (221 S. Main St. Cave Springs, AR). NANTRAG is a group of representatives from Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, and Rogers working to develop water quality regulation in Arkansas that will allow nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) trading between entities.
The meeting agenda includes opportunity for public comment, discussion of the City of Fayetteville resolution concerning the proposed Regulation 37, legal updates, and discussion of future direction.
Fayetteville City Council expressed concerns and suggested changes to the draft regulation via resolution on August 6 and conveyed that information at the September NANTRAG meeting. Most of the suggested changes were rejected by other cities’ representatives. At the October 1, 2019 Fayetteville City Council meeting, the council members voted unanimously in opposition to the current proposed draft of Regulation 37
that establishes the requirements and procedures for implementing nutrient water quality trading.
In 2015, the Arkansas General Assembly enacted Act 335
to amend the law regarding water quality regulations and wastewater discharge permits to authorize nutrient water quality trading, credits, offsets, and compliance association. The act authorizes APC&EC (Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC)) to created regulations. NANTRAG has acted as a third party creating a draft proposal for Regulation 37. Discharge permits are regulated by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
According to the University of Arkansas’s AWRC (Arkansas Resource Water Center
), “The ultimate goal of the nutrient trading program is to improve water quality throughout Arkansas in the most efficient and affordable way possible. If partnerships can be made and money be spent on management activities in the watershed that are proven to improve water quality, then stricter regulations on treatment plants – which are also extremely expensive – might be avoided.”