Wisconsin State Senator Cowles, Senator Petrowski and Representative Kitchens today announced new legislation that will boost Wisconsin’s three water quality trading programs, leading to more transactions, better use of public and private dollars and noticeable water quality improvements.
Wisconsin has excelled at building a strong foundation of water quality programs to protect and enhance the state’s water. The current water quality programs, though well-constructed, have had low participation.
This proposed legislation enables a third-party Clearinghouse to facilitate the current water quality trading programs, providing an extra element of certainty and accessibility needed for farms, industry and wastewater treatment plants to work together toward shared water quality goals.
“It’s simple legislation to achieve noticeable environmental solutions at a lower cost to all,” said Steven Rowe, President and CEO of Newtrient.
The current economics of dairy farming make it challenging to adopt manure management technologies that could provide environmental benefits.Through this approach, farms of all sizes can be incentivized to voluntarily adopt new technologies and practices beyond what they’re already doing, small manufacturers and food companies remain in operation and municipalities don’t pass along multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant upgrade costs to taxpayers.
This is well timed. Recently the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture released a joint letter encouraging the use of market-based and other collaborative approaches to address excess nutrients and water quality. Senator Cowles, Senator Petrowski and Representative Kitchens’ legislation demonstrates Wisconsin’s commitment to environmental solutions and an unprecedented effort to bring together the rural and urban communities with market-based solutions.
Upon adoption, this will put Wisconsin at the forefront of market-driven clean water solutions, speeding up clean streams, rivers and lakes at a reduced cost to all.