Friday, June 17, 2011

Frackville Plans to Sell Pollution Credits to STPs

The Frackville (I kid you not) PA Area Municipal Authority is considering selling off the rights to produce excess nutrients to other sewage treatment plants.  It works like this:
...if a treatment plant not only meets the federal requirements in reducing the nutrient discharge limits but also is exceeding what is required, the extra pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus removed beyond the federal guidelines can be sold to another plant in order to comply with its own discharge limits. Each pound would be a credit and would be sold at market price.

"My projections show that your plant has about 18,000 pounds of nitrogen and 5,000 pounds of phosphorus, which are separate distinct credits," Wert said. "The market right now is about $3 per pound of nitrogen. We're working on a transaction with a treatment plant that needs 40,000 pounds (credits) of nitrogen. So, we would match your 18,000 with another 22,000 from somewhere else."
It would seem that $240,000 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it serves a community of about 4,000 people, and thus would be able to underwrite the cost of sewage to the community to the extent of about $60 per person.  Even the plan being considered, where half would be split with the an outside contractor who proposes to sell the credits and split to profits, a $30 a year per capita (and most households have at least two people, so it's more like 60 per house), would be a blessing.  And you get to say you're saving the Bay too, although, being from Pennsylvania, you would have no reason to care:

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