In March 2013, water quality agency staff from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, U.S. EPA Region 10, Willamette Partnership, and The Freshwater Trust convened a working group for the first of a series of four interagency workshops on water quality trading in the Pacific Northwest. Facilitated by Willamette Partnership through a USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, those who assembled over the subsequent eight months discussed and evaluated water quality trading policies, practices, and programs across the country in an effort to better understand and draw from EPA's January 13, 2003, Water Quality Trading Policy, and its 2007 Permit Writers' Toolkit, as well as existing state guidance and regulations on water quality trading. All documents presented at those conversations and meeting summaries are posted on the Willamette Partnership's website.
The final product is intended to be a set of recommended practices for each state to consider as they develop water quality trading. The goals of this effort are to help ensure that water quality "trading programs" have the quality, credibility, and transparency necessary to be consistent with the "Clean Water Act" (CWA), its implementing regulations and state and local water quality laws.