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Farmers will Help Offset Utilities Pollution Problems
Faced with a planned federal mandate to cut water pollution from power plants, American Electric Power and other utility companies might simply pay farmers to the job for them.

A test program in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky will allow for a “water quality trading” program, similar to a plan the EPA has approved in Wisconsin. This program is designed to cut pollution, while saving money. Installing and operating pollution-treatment systems at power plants would be extremely expensive and those expenses would be passed along to consumers.

It is a system of buying or selling “pollution” credits to show a substantial overall reduction of water pollution. The utility companies would actually pay the farmers to cut a similar amount of phosphorus from their programs, which could cost as little as $100,000 per year. Farmers typically plant buffer strips of grass along ditches and stream instead of using to grow crops. The strips absorb manure and fertilizers washed from fields during storms.

 
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Researchers Study Invasive Mussels - Mike McCartney, a research assistant professor with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota, said they plan to collect samples this summer to study the genetic and genomic makeup of both species to pinpoint where they came from and how they got there.


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