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Abstract

The Greenbrier River watershed in West Virginia suffers from severe algal bloom problems. A combination of hydrological and economic models is used to assess the physical and economic feasibility of generating total phosphorus (TP) credits to offset a proposed TP standard of 0.5mg/l for wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The results reveal that most cropland and only a proportion pasture and grassland would need base management practices to TP runoff from agricultural land in order to fulfill WWTP’s TP load reductions. All four TP credit market scenarios resulted in a cost savings compared to no market, with potential cost savings of up to $1.2 million/year over WWTP upgrades to meet the TP standard.

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