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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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Georgica Pond Opened for Shellfishing after Toxic Blue-Green Algae - Last year, the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation leased an aquatic weed harvester to remove macroalgae from the pond. As it decays, the macroalgae provides nutrients to harmful algae such as cyanobacteria. The removal last summer of more than 55,000 pounds of macroalgae is believed to be responsible for a substantial reduction in the levels of cyanobacteria recorded last year, and may be a factor in the relatively brief bloom that occurred last month.


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