The land conservationist in Clark County plans to speak out against proposed changes to the state’s non-point pollution rules. Matt Zoschke says everyone can agree that clean water is important, but a proposed update to NR-151 could spell trouble for many area farmers. “Non-point pollution” includes things like runoff from manure, herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. “The main accordance of the non-point source pollution is caused by rainfall or snow melt moving over, possibly through the ground, and as that runoff moves over the landscape, it’s going to pick up an carry certain pollutants,” says Zoschke.

Most of the existing rules have been in place since around 2001. For the most part, area farmers have been compliant, or have worked with officials to gain compliance. But Zoschke says the modifications would force farmers to use a computer program to determine if phosphorous will be delivered to a body of water. He wonders whether state is willing to mandate the use of a computer, knowing that there are some individuals – and quite a large majority in Clark County – who don’t have access to high speed Internet. “Is there going to be equal opportunity for compliance, if they have to access information off the Internet?

Zoschke also questions if there’s enough money to provide ample cost-sharing for the new requirements. Last month, the Land Conservation Committee authorized Zoschke voice these concerns during a February 11th listening session in Wausau.

Paul Knoff, WCCN

AUDIO: Paul Knoff reports (1:15 Mp3)  AUDIO: Paul Knoff reports (1:15 MP3)

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