Scott Walker has put a two-year suspension into his budget of a carefully-negotiated rule to begin requiring a halt to damaging phosphorus pollution from entering our lakes, streams and wetlands.
Here are the details:
Senator Luther Olsen Representative Dan Meyer
Senator Sheila Harsdorf Representative Dan LeMahieu
Senator Joe Leibham Representative John Nygren
Senator Glenn Grothman Representative Pat Strachota
Senator Randy Hopper Representative Joel Kleefisch
Senator Lena Taylor Representative Tamara Grigsby
Senator Robert Jauch Representative Jennifer Shilling
- The provision is non-fiscal , i.e. non-budgetary, and doesn’t belong in the budget in the first place! The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau agreed in their memo to the JFC (click here for the memo), but the Committee has so far declined to remove it.
- What is being reported as a “delay” in implementation is really a suspension of existing rules, rules that some entities are already working to implement. The new standards and rules took effect in December of 2010, and the federal EPA approved them, incorporating them into federal law.
- The two-year suspension of the rules is effectively much longer. First, the start date of the suspension is unclear – if it’s the start of the fiscal year, then the clock starts mid-2011, instead of the 2010 effective date of the rules. But what’s more, permits under the rules are good for five years or more – tacking on two years more means phosphorus will continue to be discharged into our lakes and streams at the old rate until 2018 and potentially longer! And a whopping 550 permits come due in the next two years.