Maryland Nutrient Trading

Welcome to the Maryland Nutrient Trading Program . . .

Please Read This Notice before Using the Maryland Nutrient Trading Tool

As of May 1, 2014, the Maryland Nutrient Trading Program launched the latest version of its online tools. The World Resources Institute (WRI), which partners with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER), has utilized the Maryland trading platform as the template for a new multistate platform that can be accessed by users in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. WRI and TIAER have transferred all existing accounts from the Maryland platform to the new multistate platform. They are also in the process of transferring the 253 farm worksheets for users who met the April 16 deadline for transfer requests.

To enter the new site, you can continue to use or alternately you can switch to However, it is recommended that you continue to use the former web address so that you can find specific information and/or learn about activities related to Maryland’s program. For those who had an existing account established before May 1, your account can be found under your current username, but you will have to change your password in order to access your worksheets.

Because the latest version of the calculation tool incorporates any needed modifications since the last update, as well as changes required by current Maryland Nutrient Management regulations, there have also been some changes to the format for entries. You will have to make a few revisions to your worksheets to reflect the data entries for meeting the new setback, stream fencing, and manure incorporation requirements. When these have been completed, you can re-run your worksheets to re-confirm baseline compliance and re-calculate potential nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment credits. First-time users will not be affected.

Any comments, questions, or requests for assistance should be directed to Susan Payne, Coordinator of Ecosystem Markets, at 410-841-5865 or In addition, MDA plans to hold training sessions in the use of the latest version of the tool in the coming months. If you are interested in participating, watch the website or contact Susan Payne to be notified of dates and locations.

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

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is a member of the National Network on Water Quality Trading. That group has just 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, go to; to download the 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.