Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill proposal would roll back regulations designed to protect waterways from weed-producing phosphorus and other pollutants that wash from streets and construction sites.
...When new phosphorus regulations were approved last summer, the DNR estimated costs of $900 million to $1 billion over the next decade or more. Outside estimates claimed even higher costs.
The rules set limits on how much phosphorus would be allowed in waterways, putting the onus on sewage treatment plants and factories that treat wastewater, and presumably passing on the costs to customers.
"It was incredibly expensive legislation," said Scott Manley, director of environmental policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
That's not all. He also proposed to:Repeal state laws requiring communities, by 2013, to achieve a 40% reduction in total suspended solids, a component of runoff. Municipalities had complained that the mandate was expensive and hard to meet. It is already forcing many communities to increase street sweeping, install new catch basins and build settling ponds to capture pollutants.
This will be very helpful indeed.