DNR says EPA says 99 more waterways affected by phosphorousPhosphorus pollution from farms, stormwater and sewage treatment plants is prompting the state to propose adding 99 more waterways to a list of impaired waters.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Phosphorus pollution from farms, stormwater and sewage treatment plants is prompting the state to propose adding 99 more waterways to a list of impaired waters. But the DNR says it's mainly the federal government's idea to do so.
The impaired waters list called for by federal law covers those waters not meeting quality standards. About 700 Wisconsin lakes or river segments are already on the list, which is updated every two years. At the request of the U.S. EPA the DNR is proposing adding 99 waterways to the impaired list, because those waters exceed the state's new phosphorus pollution standard. The DNR's Aaron Larson says his agency usually looks at factors like algal blooms, fish health and insect populations before proposing to declare a water impaired.
Larson says the DNR has agreed with the EPA that the 99 belong in a newly-used category that calls for close monitoring of potential biological harm.
Larson says the DNR turned back a request to add 23 more waters, because the DNR concluded high phosphorus levels there were temporary. The DNR proposes taking ten Wisconsin water bodies off the impaired list.