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Pollution Trade-Off to Clean Up
Phosphorus is a nutrient common in human and animal waste, and farm fertilizer runoff. It feeds algae growth in rivers that can be more than an eye-sore; it can choke off fish and other aquatic life. The Boise River’s cleanup plan developed over the past 20 years – has required phosphorus levels from all sources to come down to meet water quality standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft permit to the city of Boise for a small wastewater facility to remove phosphorous at a drain that carries runoff from thousands of acres of farmland more than 25 miles downriver from Boise. This is pollution trade-off and it could potentially be a model for cleaning up other rivers cheaply and efficiently.

 
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Chemical Promotes Dangerous Algae Blooms - Wisconsin is not fully enforcing strict phosphorus limits adopted two years ago to reduce lake-algae blooms that make people sick. The state Legislature in 2010 approved DNR regulations intended to cut down on the amount of phosphorus running into waterways, where it causes algae to grow so thick that the water turns to green soup. The regulations are aimed at wastewater treatment plants, paper mills and factories – which are required to reapply for permits at five-year intervals.


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