Thursday, November 12, 2009

New State Law Will Reduce Phosphorus In Wisconsin Lakes And Streams

Here's how the Wisconsin Association of Lakes put it:

Nov 12, 2009 - Wisconsin Association of Lakes is pleased to announce that the State of Wisconsin today took another important step in controlling nutrient pollution in Wisconsin’s waters, as Governor Jim Doyle signed legislation prohibiting the use of phosphorus in dishwasher soaps.

We wanted to take a moment to say "thanks" for your support of us, which helped make this law possible.

The bill (AB 281) was passed by the Assembly in June and the Senate in October and is the second in a series of legislative initiatives to improve water quality.

Earlier this session, Wisconsin Association of Lakes and others led efforts in which the Legislature established a ban on the use of phosphorus compounds in lawn fertilizer and these efforts extended to the dish soap ban.

“This new law banning phosphorus in household dishwasher detergents is one more important step to protecting and restoring our lakes so they may continue to be enjoyed by all,” said Karen von Huene, Wisconsin Association of Lakes Executive Director. “We are proud as an organization to have again been at the forefront of this important issue and thank the legislature and Governor for understanding how crucial it is to the health of Wisconsin’s waters.”

A 1970’s Wisconsin law prohibited the sale or use of most cleaning products containing more than 0.5 percent phosphorus by weight, but made an exception allowing dishwashing detergents with as much as 8.7 percent phosphorus.

The new law eliminates that exception and limits dishwashing detergents to the same low phosphorus level permitted in other cleaning products beginning in June of 2010.

Our member lake organizations, individuals and corporations have long supported measures to remove phosphorus from the runoff flowing into our waters.

Nutrients like phosphorus are degrading 90% of Wisconsin’s inland lakes, causing smelly algae blooms, fish kills, and declining water quality.
Enactment of this new law enhances Wisconsin’s status as a national leader and model for other states in preventing phosphorus in runoff from contaminating its waters.


Anonymous said...

Splendid - we all suffer while Doyle's buddies in the ethanol lobby continue to pollute groundwater and surface water with corn fertilizer run off and toxic chemicals from the ethanol plants.

And how about all that coal ash that's being spread on fields out west?

Nope, clean dishes are the enemy of the environment.

crackbaby said...

Good News. Thanks to the folks who worked to make this a reality. It is critical that we address these issues at a scale that includes entire watersheds, and not simply on arbitrary political boundaries.

The next step is to address the ongoing failure of statewide Best Management Practices to control erosion and sedimentation from construction projects of all types.

Rest assured that if the Republicans were in control of the legislature and/or governor's office, this would not have happened. Thankfully, the pro-pollution party remains in the minority.

Matt said...

But guess what? It will NOT decrease the amount of phosphorous that infiltrates, not even around the margins. Why? Agriculture.

If liberals want to emphasize renewable fuel, they will have to come to terms with the fact agriculture will always need fossil fuels to operate. And if they want ethanol so bad, they need to come to terms with the fact that the only way to get a reliable corn yield year in and out is the application of phosphorous and commercial fertilizers, unless they want to see food prices skyrocket and people starving.