EPA approves Wisconsin’s phosphorous rule

Phosphorus pollution accelerates algae and plant growth

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Wisconsin’s revised rule to curb phosphorus pollution.

Wisconsin’s program is aimed at reducing phosphorus levels in the Great Lakes and Wisconsin’s inland waters.

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said the EPA’s approval is “a great step forward” in Wisconsin’s efforts to reduce phosphorus entering the state’s lakes, rivers and streams.

Phosphorus pollution accelerates algae and plant growth.

Wisconsin’s program allows permit holders to meet phosphorus discharge requirements through partnerships with others who release phosphorus. Permit holders can make those arrangements to reduce phosphorus more economically.

Under the new rules, the DNR determines the phosphorus discharge limits based on the condition and quality of a watershed.

Wisconsin first adopted phosphorus water quality standards for lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams in December 2010.