Requirements of a Water Quality Trading Plan
(1)An eligible entity may not engage in water quality trading unless DEQ has reviewed and approved that entity’s water quality trading plan. The use of credits will be authorized after all elements of a DEQ-approved trading plan required by subsection (5) of this rule are incorporated as enforceable conditions of an NPDES permit issued under OAR chapter 340 division 045 or a 401 water quality certification issued under OAR chapter 340 division 048.
(2)For NPDES permittees trading may be proposed as part of a permittee’s application for permit renewal or modification.
(3)DEQ must provide an opportunity for public notice and comment on a trading plan before approving the trading plan. DEQ may amend the trading plan or require amendments to the trading plan prior to approval. Individual trading projects must be consistent with an approved trading plan. Individual trading projects do not require separate public notice and comment.
(4)A trading plan must be consistent with an applicable DEQ-issued trading framework if such a framework exists at the time DEQ approves the trading plan.
(5)A trading plan must include all of the following elements and a description of how the elements were derived or calculated:
(a)The parameter for which water quality trading is proposed;
(b)Trading baseline: A trading plan must identify any applicable regulatory requirements from OAR 340-039-0030 (Requirements for Trading Baselines)(1) that apply within the trading area and that must be implemented to achieve baseline requirements;
(c)Trading area: A description of the trading area including identification of the location of the discharge to be offset, its downstream point of impact, if applicable, where trading projects are expected to be implemented, and the relationship of the trading projects to beneficial uses in the trading area;
(d)BMPs: A description of the water quality benefits that will be generated, the BMPs that will be used to generate water quality benefits, and applicable BMP quality standards;
(e)Trading ratios: A description of applicable trading ratios, the basis for each applicable trading ratio, including underlying assumptions for the ratio, and a statement indicating whether those ratios increase or decrease the size of a credit obligation or the number of credits generated from an individual trading project;
(f)Credits: A description of the credits needed to meet water quality-based requirements of an NPDES permit or 401 water quality certification, including:
(A)Quantity and timing: The number of credits needed and any credit generation milestones, including a schedule for credit generation;
(B)Methods used: How credits will be quantified, including the assumptions and inputs used to derive the number of credits; and
(C)Duration of credits: A description of the length of time credits are expected to be used.
(g)Monitoring. The trading plan must include a description of the following:
(A)Proposed methods and frequency of trading project BMP monitoring; and
(B)Proposed methods and frequency of how water quality benefits generated by a trading project will be monitored;
(h)Trading Plan Performance Verification: A description of how the entity will verify and document for each trading project that BMPs are conforming to applicable quality standards and credits are generated as planned; and
(i)Tracking and Reporting: A description of how credit generation, acquisition and usage will be tracked and how this information will be made available to the public.
(6)Adaptive Management: Trading plans must include a description of how monitoring and other information may be used over time to adjust trading projects and under what circumstances;
(7)Trading Plan Revision: An approved trading plan must be revised during permit or 401 water quality certification renewal or if there is a change in circumstances that affects a trading plan element required by subsection (5) of this rule. Revised trading plans must be submitted to DEQ for review and approval and must be given an opportunity for public notice and comment. DEQ will reopen and modify the permit or 401 water quality certification for any revisions affecting an enforceable condition.
Rule 340-039-0025 — Requirements of a Water Quality Trading Plan,