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Water Management Associations
House Oks Phosphorus Curbs
The House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would limit the use of phosphorus and allow communities a chance to develop statewide water pollution regulations.

The plan would give Danbury and five other communities a chance to delay more than $30 million in sewage plant upgrades required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The legislation includes a provision for owners of established lawns to be fined up to $500 for violating the ban on spreading the fertilizer.

Farms and golf courses would be exempt from the rule, because lawmakers said golf courses have professional groundskeepers who don’t often overuse the expensive chemical and farmers are generally frugal in its use.

Phosphorus leaching into bodies of water has been linked to algae blooms and the delay will provide the communities time to study the issue of phosphorus, including out-of-state and non-point sources which may both be culprits in the excessive levels.

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Flooding raises pollution fears - Swamped farm fields and gorged rivers could worsen pollution worries for the flooded Lake Champlain because of the high amount of phosphorus that has washed into it. Heavy rains and snowmelt have caused the Winooski River to dump into the lake about 77 metric tons of phosphorus – that is more phosphorous than the amount that is discharged into the lake from all 60 wastewater treatment plants.

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