Coupling Carbon Sequestration with Nitrogen and Phosphorus to Synergize Water Quality Trading in the Muskingum Watershed of Ohio

Our project aims to synergize an existing successful phosphorus(P) and nitrogen (N) trading program by adding carbon sequestration measures. By bundling C conservation measures with N and P, the program will lower its overall cost and expand. The C conservation measures will focus on no-till farming and cover crops. Although calculation of carbon credits is fairly complex and needs refinement, a gross estimation of no till farming+cover crops credits will be 2-6 t/hectare for cover crops.

The project will start with the Alpine Nutrient Trading Program in Holmes County Ohio which is the longest continuous trading program in the USA serving a NPDES permit for phosphorus. Existing in Sugar Creek, one of Ohio's most agriculturally polluted watersheds, over the last 20 years it decreased the number of impaired rivers by half. While the success of the program led 21 other counties to create an Ohio EPA approved trading program in SE Ohio, the program has stalled expanding beyond several sites. The reason is that the cost per gallon of water treated is too close to the existing cost for treatment by small towns (so-called "minor" waste water treatment plants) of which there are more than 1000 in the Muskingum Basin. The poster will present estimates of the total carbon that can be sequestered by bundling C, N, and P. The project will work closely with the local county Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, and the Ohio State University Carbon Sequestration Lab, and Ohio EPA.

Tuesday Poster Session
Richard H. Moore
Related Conference Themes
Land Use