Friday, July 16, 2010

DNR Phosphorous Rule: Costly and Ineffective

Q. What would we do without the DNR?

A. Live long and prosper.

Clearinghouse Rule 10-035 is expected to cost more than $3 billion statewide, without
achieving a meaningful benefit to water quality.

Because of the rule’s substantial cost, limited benefit, and hasty process for enactment, we are asking that the Legislature take the time to determine whether Clearinghouse Rule 10-035 is the most effective way to reduce phosphorous loading in Wisconsin water bodies, while at the same time protecting Wisconsin jobs and our economy.

Rule 10-035 is the typical DNR action. It sets a bar which can be reached only at tremendous expense, and really doesn't address the largest part of the problem.

IOW, DNR simply pointed its gun at the nearest easy target and pulled the trigger.

Point sources (businesses and municipalities with a DNR discharge permit) are already subject to
phosphorous limitations of 1.0 milligrams per liter under NR 217.04 of the Wisconsin administrative code. The proposed rule would establish much more stringent phosphorous limitations for point sources, including 0.10 milligrams per liter (90% reduction) for discharges into rivers, 0.075 milligrams per liter for streams, and .04 milligrams per liter (96% reduction) for lakes.

Well, certainly, that will have a big impact, right?


According to the DNR, an average of 20% of the phosphorous loading into Wisconsin water bodies is attributable to point sources. The remaining 80% comes from non-point sources which are not regulated by this rule.

Your basic cheese-plant will pay up to $4.3 million to get compliant (and guess who will pay for THAT, sucka!!) Sewage treatment plants statewide will have to increase fees and taxes by $1.3 BILLION to cover DNR's polite request. (And guess who will pay for THAT, sucka!!)

Oh, and Wisconsin's DNR is a "leader!!" Aren't we proud?

No other Midwestern State has enacted such draconian rules. None.

So if I'm going to put up a new paper mill, or dairy-processing plant...OR if I'm going to close one Midwestern plant due to cost considerations.........

It won't be in Michigan, or Minnesota, or Iowa, or Illinois.

Smooth move, DNR.

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