Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
WI approves new phosphorus rules


June 24, 2010
By Manure Manager

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June 24, 2010, Madison, WI
– Wisconsin Natural Resources Board recently approved a new strategy to improve
the water quality of the state’s lakes, rivers and streams.


June 24, 2010, Madison, WI
Wisconsin Natural Resources Board recently approved a new strategy to improve
the water quality of the state’s lakes, rivers and streams.

The rules proposed by the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) address phosphorous and other nutrient pollution as well as erosion and
sedimentation that degrade water quality.

The rules approved by the
board address both “point” and “non-point” sources of pollution, including
factories, municipal water treatment systems, agricultural sources, and urban
and suburban storm water run-off. For the first time, science-based numerical
water quality standards for phosphorous are established.

Included in the package
are numeric water quality criteria for rivers, streams and lakes that will
prove pivotal in determining phosphorus levels to keep waters clear of algae
and safe for recreational activities. Wisconsin has 172 lakes and streams on
the impaired waters list for phosphorus.

With this package,
Wisconsin becomes the first state in the country to create these water quality
standards for rivers, lakes and streams – including the Great Lakes – as
required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wisconsin will also become
the first state to put in place an adaptive management approach that promotes
cooperation among point (end-of-pipe or stack) and non-point (run-off)
pollution sources to find the most cost-effective means to reduce phosphorus
and other pollutants.

The DNR will work with
county land conservation experts and farmers to help producers use the best
management practices to curb pollution all while helping to provide incentive
for the most cost-effective solutions. Under this provision, the DNR will
provide up to 70 percent to share the farmers’ costs of implementing non-point pollution
controls to meet the standards – as part of a positive enforcement of the
rules.