Phosphorus Rules Continue to Muddy the Regulatory Waters

Two state Senate panels recently heard testimony on the phosphorus rules that were adopted by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board in June.

 The proposed rules impose phosphorus limits for Wisconsin rivers, streams and lakes. The rule provides a two-pronged approach, by setting water quality standards and placing new limits on municipal wastewater treatment plants and factories that have their own treatment systems.

The rule is the most restrictive in the Midwest, and will force businesses and municipalities to bear the brunt of the costs. Complying with the regulations is estimated to cost somewhere between $1.13 billion and $4 billion.

The legislature could decide to make changes to the plans based on the testimony they heard, or they could decide to do nothing and let the rules automatically take effect in September.

(This post was authored by Hamilton consulting Group’s intern, Emily Kelchen, a third year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School.)