Water Quality Trading in Ontario

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This paper, by Richard McNeil, explores Water Quality Trading (WQT) as a complement to the traditional regulatory approach to reducing water pollution. It examines the theory behind WQT, reviews common practices where trading has been introduced, and identifies principles for effective programs. It presents two Ontario case studies: the South Nation River watershed, where WQT has been a success, and the Lake Simcoe watershed, where WQT is currently being considered. Continue reading

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Polluting pays off

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A dairy farmer who has been polluting Ontario’s Lake Simcoe has hit the jackpot, winning a grant of $99,950 to construct and maintain a concrete tank to store manure from his 55-cow milking herd. Environment Canada explained that the project will significantly reduce the levels of phosphorus and other nutrients entering the watershed. It didn’t explain why it chose to reward a major polluter with a grant, rather than slapping him with a fine — why, in other words, it administers a system of “polluter gets” rather than “polluter pays.” Continue reading