The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will co-host the second annual Water Quality Trading Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., on May 23-25. Titled “Implementation at the Watershed Level,” the conference is expected to draw over 500 attendees, including federal and state water officials, land-use managers, economists, conservationists, and international trading experts.

Water-quality trading is an innovative, market-based approach to achieving cleaner water.

The conference will examine the fundamentals and mechanics of trading and focus on examples of trading programs around the country. It will highlight the economic and environmental benefits of trading, explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and implementing trading programs, and encourage discussion on the future of trading.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will deliver a keynote address. Other keynoters invited include James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; USDA Secretary Mike Johanns; and Secretary Katie McGinty, of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles will chair a plenary session, “What Can Groups Do to Make Trading Happen?”

Anyone wishing to attend the conference can register online at http://www.farmfoundation.org/registration/watertrade.aspx.