Wis. lawmaker offers pollution-reduction option

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- State Sen. Rob Cowles has introduced a bill designed to encourage industrial polluters to help pay to reduce farm pollution.

A Press-Gazette Media report says the Allouez Republican is concerned about oxygen-deficient areas in the waters of Green Bay.

Industrial sources are already cutting down on the amount of phosphorus they discharge into state waterways. Tougher government standards call for more cuts, but Cowles says those cuts will be expensive and only marginally helpful.

So he's proposing a bill that would allow industries to postpone their compliance with the new standards for 20 years. In exchange, the industries would pay to support county efforts to help farmers reduce manure reduction.

If Cowles' bill passes, it would still require approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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