Purcellville Establishes Nutrient Credit Bank in Aberdeen | New


As part of Mayor Kwasi Fraser’s efforts to monetize the city’s assets, Purcellville on Tuesday officially established a Nutrient Credit Bank on 93.4 acres of the Aberdeen property with a 6-0 city council vote.

Fraser lobbied for the initiative, which was designed to create a “green economy” for the city by planting trees.

By growing trees on what used to be farmland, he creates a nutrient attenuation bank, which essentially introduces healthy elements into the soil and which environmental benefits can receive monetary credits through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The credits range in value from $ 18,000 to $ 30,000 and would permanently restrict land to forest, according to city lawyer Sally Hankins.

Last June, DEQ approved the city’s nutrient mitigation bank which is expected to generate 76 credits, according to Fraser. The credits can be sold to developers who seek to offset the environmental impacts of their projects on the environment.

In December, the city issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a partner to maintain the city’s approved nutrient bank in return for a share of the revenue generated by the bank. The city received five responses and selected Davey Resource Group, a national company with offices in Virginia.

The city purchased the 189-acre Aberdeen property in 2009 for $ 2.175 million in an effort to provide additional well water to the city, if needed. The property has three wells and a house which was built in the 1880s.

Fraser noted that with this project, the city is still able to access well water and will not risk further contamination of the water source with agricultural or residential development.

He estimated the city’s credit value to be between $ 1.52 million and $ 2.28 million.

City finance director Liz Krens said the proceeds from the project would go to the water utilities fund since Aberdeen is an asset of the water fund.

Fraser told The Times-Mirror that 111,000 trees – including Northern Red Oak, Willow Oak, Pin Oak, Sycamore, Lobolly, Premium, River Birch and Silky Dogwood – have been planted in Aberdeen to develop the nutrient credit bank and continue efforts to sequester carbon. The trees will take about five to ten years to mature and about 30 years to reach full growth, he said.

“This is the largest initiative of its kind in Loudoun County,” Fraser said. “The city is expected to earn over $ 700,000 from the sale of nutrient credits for major infrastructure projects in the watershed. He said officials expect the new forest to attract new species of birds in addition to deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, opossums, bears, rabbits, etc.

Aberdeen has been the subject of discussions for many proposed projects in recent years, including a proposal to use it as a hops-growing place as well as a potential park for horses. Another idea was to use the land as a {span} laboratory to promote agricultural technologies, using drones to film and monitor crops. {/scope}

Board members each spoke in favor of the project and thanked the staff for their role in moving the process forward.

“We got here thanks to a lot of blood, sweat and tears from the staff and Sally, you obviously played a big part in that,” said Councilor Tip Stinnette.

City Councilor Chris Bertaut agreed, adding: “This marks an important point in the history of the city in terms of leveraging our assets for the greater benefit of the public. “

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