Maryland Nutrient Trading

Welcome to the Maryland Nutrient Trading Program . . .

Important Notice
Please Read before Using MNTT

On March 26, the newest version of the baseline and credit calculation tool (Maryland Nutrient Tracking Tool or MNTTv.2) will be released on this website. All existing accounts and projects will be available on the new version. Anyone wishing to use assessments from the current version for submissions to either the Certainty or Agricultural Credit Certification Program will need to re-run them using the latest version since the results will differ.

The current version will be archived for those with existing Certainty assessments, and access will be granted upon request to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA).

For questions or additional information, contact Susan Payne, MDA’s Coordinator of the Ecosystem Markets and Certainty Programs at

The Maryland Water Quality Trading Advisory
Committee to Meet on July 23

The next meeting of the Trading Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, July 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Maryland Department of the Environment’s headquarters, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230. The Committee acts as an ongoing consultative group to provide direction to the overall trading program and oversee further enhancement of the trading infrastructure. This month’s meeting will focus on the new trading regulations and the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan.

What is Nutrient Trading?

Nutrient trading is a form of exchange (buying & selling) of nutrient reduction credits. These credits have a monetary value that may be paid to the seller for installing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce nitrogen or phosphorous. In general, water quality trading utilizes a market-based approach that allows one source to maintain its regulatory obligations by using pollution reductions created by another source. As a market-based approach, increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness are achieved by letting the market determine costs. To achieve a desired load reduction, trades can take place between point sources (usually wastewater treatment plants), between point and nonpoint sources (a wastewater treatment plant and a farming operation) or between nonpoint sources (such as agriculture and urban stormwater sites or systems).

Why is there a need for a Nutrient Trading Program?

Over the years, pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay have been increasing. Chief among these pollutants are nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus. Much has already been done to reduce these pollutants with the development of Maryland's Tributary Strategies, but more is still needed. Over the last 15 years, federal, state and local programs have been developed to assist in mitigating the impacts of pollutants in the Bay; however, the amount of public sector funding required to achieve the desired reductions has fallen short in meeting the goals of a clean Bay.
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What is Maryland's Trading Program?

Maryland’s Nutrient Trading Program is a public marketplace for the buying and selling of nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) credits. The purpose of the Program ranges from being able to offset new or increased discharges to establishing economic incentives for reductions from all sources within a watershed and achieving greater environmental benefits than through, existing regulatory programs. To facilitate trading, a web-based Calculation Tool, Marketplace and Trading Registry have been established. The Calculation Tool will assess credit generating capacity while the Market Place and Trading Registry will record approved credits and transactions and provide a means for the public to track the progress of Maryland's trading program.
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Learn more about Nutrient Trading here:


Office of Governor

View Nitrogen and Phosphorous Credits

Login to CBNTT
Login to Market (Under Construction)

Technical References & Guidelines

What's New

National Network on Water Quality Trading

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is a member of the National Network on Water Quality Trading. In June 2015, that group published a comprehensive reference providing the essential tools for new and evolving water quality trading programs. “Building a Water Quality Trading Program: Options and Considerations” identifies common trading issues and the options, considerations, and examples important to building a trading program. It captures several decades of experience in trading programs and is the product of a dialogue between National Network participants who represent agriculture, wastewater utilities, environmental groups, regulatory agencies, and practitioners. To learn more about the National Network and its activities, go to; to download the full publication, go to


For more information about the nomination of the Maryland Nutrient Trading Program for the Growing Blue Award, see press release put out by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.