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Industry Updates: Legislative

Phosphorus Compliance Bill

Monday, January 27, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Heyroth
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Talking Points for Phosphorus Compliance Bill


1.         The bill leaves the existing water quality standards for phosphorus intact.  It is not a repeal or suspension of the states phosphorus water quality standards.


2.         The bill provides an additional compliance option for point sources in addition to the existing compliance options.  It does not compel a particular option, nor remove existing options.


3.         The bill results in continuous improvement by point sources towards ultimate compliance with the phosphorus water quality standard.


4.         The bill avoids the extremely expensive cost of advanced filtration which would be required to meet the final phosphorus water quality standard until technology improves and the costs are reduced. 


5.         The bill provides a simple mechanism for point sources to provide significant monetary support for nonpoint reductions of phosphorus which constitute the largest percentage of phosphorus in our watersheds.


6.         The bill utilizes the existing nonpoint program under NR 151 administered by Counties and subject to DNR oversight.  It does not create new standards or require a new administrative mechanism to achieve nonpoint reductions.  It simply puts gasoline in the engine.


7.         The bill utilizes a multi-discharger variance approach similar to that in use for chlorides that EPA has approved.  The concept of a multi-discharger variance for phosphorus is also an approach used in the State of Montana, and was acknowledged in EPA’s recent proposed rulemaking dated September 4, 2013.


8.         The bill provides for regular review of technologies so that if technology improvements are made or costs are reduced, the variance determination can be reexamined.

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