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Assembly passes measure delaying stringent phosphorous removal rules

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker's office says it will not commit to delaying Wisconsin's stringent phosphorus removal requirements, until it reviews a bill passed by both houses.

The measure passed the Assembly 76-19 Thursday night, after the Senate okayed it earlier this week.

It does not put sewage plants and industries off the hook in following strong rules to limit phosphorus emissions into Wisconsin waters -- but it does grant delays for economic hardship.

The limits were passed in 2009, when environmentalists raised concerns about the growth of algae in Wisconsin lakes due to heavy phosphorus.

Businesses expressed concerns about the cost of the pollution controls to be required -- and some said it was not fair that farmers would not have to limit non-point phosphorus as part of the law.

The new bill would give businesses and wastewater plants up to 20 years to comply with the rules. They would face tougher limits every five years, and would have to conduct other projects for reducing phosphorus.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)