The CLEAN Center

Center for Comprehensive, optimaL and Effective Abatement of Nutrients



The Mission of the CLEAN Center is to create knowledge, build capacity, and forge collaboration to develop and demonstrate sustainable solutions for reduction of nutrient pollution in the nation’s water resources. The Center’s activities are organized around three major themes: understanding the physical system, understanding people and policy, and enhancing the capacity for assessment and decision-making.

The Physical System

The Center will identify nutrient removal and recovery solutions in wastewater, urban stormwater, cropland, animal feeding operations, and riparian sectors.

People and Policy

The Center will identify effective incentives for adoption of sustainable nutrient management solutions in agriculture, utilities, and public works agencies, and will build approaches for nutrient credit trading programs.

Decision Making Tools

The Center will improve the Nation’s capacity to protect the environment and public health by developing practical and widely transferable modeling, data and decision tools for risk and performance assessment of nutrient controls.

Control of nutrient pollution to U.S. waterways is an urgent issue for the nation. In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected Colorado State University to lead a multi-stakeholder effort to study and control the sources of excess nutrients in wastewater, stormwater, agricultural water, and natural systems.

The Center activities connect natural and physical systems, human actions, and policy to create innovative solutions to nutrient pollution problems. Sustainable nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) management solutions for restoring watershed systems and attaining designated uses will be developed and demonstrated. These sustainable solutions will integrate abatement strategies for urban, agricultural, and riparian systems, and effective policy instruments such as incentives and market-based approaches that facilitate trading among sectors, provide equity along waters systems, increase chance of adoption, and minimize costs.