Jan 27, 2014

Wisconsin New Phosphorus Compliance Legislation Introduced

Earlier today, State Senators Cowles and Farrow, and State Representative Loudenbeck introduced legislation that creates a new option for point-source dischargers in Wisconsin complying with the state's strict numeric phosphorus water quality standard. Current law provides a point source three options to comply with phosphorus discharge limits: 1) install new technology to remove more phosphorus from wastewater flows, 2) utilize adaptive management or water quality trading, or 3) seek a traditional variance. The proposed legislation, LRB 3079, creates a fourth option for point source dischargers: opt into a legislated variance. Point sources that choose to opt into the legislated variance would be required to reduce the phosphorus they discharge to the extent practical, while also paying fees that will be directed to counties to use in working at the local level to reduce nonpoint contributions to Wisconsin's surface waters.