House Bill 1166 is titled “Improving climate resiliency through the development of a water quality trading program for recipients of national pollutant discharge elimination system general permits.” The focus of this legislation is on stream temperature as described in the last paragraph of the bill:

If a national pollutant discharge elimination system general permittee discharges to a waterbody for which a total maximum daily load for temperature has been issued and the permittee is not in compliance with the terms of the permittee’s permit, the department must offer the permittee a watershed-based water quality trading program to assist the permittee to come into compliance with the terms of the permit through a community-based or market-based water quality trading program. In any such water quality trading program, the department must offer incentives whenever feasible to do so for any improvements made by or on behalf of the permittee that take place in the built environment or that otherwise address the urban heat island effect on waters of the state.

Trading programs can be helpful to business but they aren’t as effective as implementing stream shading practices. WACD believes that implementing stream shading practices in the watershed should also be a viable way for NPDES permittees to be in compliance with their permit.

WACD submitted the following written testimony on HB 1166 today:

WACD is signing in as OTHER on HB 1166. While we support the intent of this legislation, we would like to see implementing (or supporting the implementation of) stream shading practices be another mitigation avenue available to NPDES holders. Over the long term, this would also provide opportunities to expand private-public partnerships focused on addressing water and habitat concerns.