Cost Profiles

Default unit cost estimates are provided for each state and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is an average of all states. Costs are provided as a starting point to use for creating your own cost estimates of various BMP scenarios. Costs are estimated in 2010 dollars. Capital and opportunity costs are amortized over the BMP lifespan and added to annual operations and maintenance (O&M) costs for a total annualized cost.

Costs are annualized average costs per unit of BMP (e.g.: $/acre treated/year). The formula is:

  • annual costs = (capital * annualization factor) + O&M costs + (land * annualization rate)
  • annualization factor = i/((1+i)^n - 1) + i
  • i = annualization rate, which is always 5%
  • n = period of annualization (also called lifespan)

Edit Cost Profiles

You can log into CAST and edit the costs by creating your own Cost Profile. CAST provides costs associated with each scenario using the cost profile you select. The data available in the Cost Profiles is summarized to include the capital, operations and maintenance, and opportunity costs.

BMP Costs

BMP costs included in CAST are developed by contractors to the EPA and are in 2010 dollars.The original costs were reviewed with the states who provided input. Additional BMPs were approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership since the original TMDL costs were determined. The data source of all BMPs are provided in the downloadable files below by sector. 

Cost Effectiveness of BMPs

Knowing the BMPs that are most effective and have the lowest cost makes it possible to develop an effective plan.

Identify Cost-Effective BMPs for Improving Water Quality and Maximizing Co-Benefits

This presentation discusses an approach to help you identify some of the most cost-effective practices for meeting permit requirements and TMDL reductions. Learn which BMPs are least expensive and provide high nutrient reductions, while addressing co-benefits like bacteria reduction. Download the presentation slides here .

BMP Pounds Reduced and Costs

Tabular Data

The typical pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reduced for every BMP are provided in the two spreadsheets below at the county and state scales. These data are presented in terms of an acre of BMP, or the appropriate unit for the BMP like animal units, feet or acres treated. We also provide the cost of each BMP, and the cost per pound reduced. These data differ by geographical area since there are variable landscape characteristics. To determine the most cost effective BMP, simply filter the table for your geographic area, then sort the table on the cost per pounds reduced for the targeted pollutant.


BMP Pounds Reduced and Costs by County

The chart provided below offers a quick look at the average nitrogen or phosphorus load reduced per sector and the average cost per pound reduced per sector.

This information is provided to show the relative impact of each BMP. BMPs have a non-linear cascading effect. As a result, your scenario will not show identical load reductions as the table. The actual load reductions depend on the specific BMPs in your scenario, the base conditions for land use, and year. The data do show the relative effectiveness difference among the BMPs.

View Chart

Cost per Pound Reduced per Extra Unit

The chart provided below shows the marginal load reduction and associated cost per pound reduced with 10 units of the BMP, 100 units, 1,000 units, and 10,000 units. You can view the data by sector, BMP name, and county. Phosphorus data coming soon.

View Chart