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State Ag Groups Applaud Senate's Passage of Water Quality Bill
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/16/2019

Legislation that would streamline the process for trading pollution-reduction credits as a way to improve the quality of water in Wisconsin has been approved by the state Senate. On Wednesday, Senate Bill 91 cleared the upper house by a unanimous vote, which paves the way for the creation of a nutrient pollution trading clearinghouse.

The measure was introduced by Sen. Rob Cowles of Green Bay. He feels the bill encourages farmer participation and implementation of additional practices and technologies designed to reduce non-point source pollution by allowing for the private sector to develop an economically sustainable system for farmers, industry and municipalities.

"This bill represents an exciting and innovative opportunity to provide farmers and other non-point sources with some financial incentive to implement more advanced land and water management practices," Cowles said. "This groundbreaking effort will promote more water quality trades by introducing a third-party clearinghouse into the currentlyinflexible pollutant trading process to create a marketplace for trades."

Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte issued a statement after the vote, saying the new approach to trading water quality credits will provide a unique opportunity.

"Clean water is important to everyone in Wisconsin," Holte said. "It is promising to see bipartisan support on this important topic."

The bill now moves to the state Assembly for consideration before heading to Gov. Tony Evers' desk for his signature.

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