MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - A plan to limit phosphorus in Wisconsin lakes is still alive, after the Natural Resources Board agreed today to hold public hearings on the idea. DNR staff members have proposed new rules aimed at reducing algae in lakes and streams. The purpose is protect fish and insects, and make the waters safer for humans. But businesses and wastewater say it will force customers and taxpayers to spend millions of extra dollars – and they say the DNR should focus more on stopping runoff from farm fields.
Officials say over 100 community sewage plants would have to install filtration systems with a total price tag of $1.1 billion. And up to 35 paper companies and food processors would have to install filters for just under a half-billion dollars. But environmentalists say the cost is worth it, in order to have cleaner water. The DNR board will take a final vote on the new rules after the hearings take place.