Rep. Black: Clean Lakes and Rivers
Proposal Sought in Budget
Posted June 21, 2005
A measure to increase efforts to prevent pollution of
our lakes and rivers will be proposed when the state Assembly
considers the budget later this week. Representative Spencer
Black announced today that he will introduce an amendment
to the state budget to substantially increase funding
to prevent polluted runoff from fouling lakes and streams
"Our lakes, rivers and streams are one of our valuable
assets in Wisconsin. However, our waterways are being
degraded by increased runoff pollution. Runoff pollution
is causing fish kills and excess weed and algae growth
that are detracting from our enjoyment of our waters,"
Black said he will introduce a budget amendment to provide
$19.7 million in funding to control runoff pollution.
The funding would assist farmers to prevent runoff from
fields and barnyards as well as to limit runoff pollution
in urban areas. Funding in the Black amendment would be
51% greater than the $13 million included for that purpose
in the budget proposed by the Joint Finance Committee.
"We don't have to look far to see why we need this
funding. The manure spill into the West Branch of the
Sugar River in Dane County this past spring that caused
a massive fish kill and the recent scientific report that
indicated that Madison's famous lakes could remain polluted
for hundreds of years are vivid examples of why we must
do more to protect our rivers, lakes and streams,” Black
"Polluted runoff is the largest source of water
pollution in Wisconsin. Ninety percent of our lakes, 40
percent of our streams, and the Great Lakes are harmed
by runoff pollution. Wisconsin made a good start on this
problem in 2002 by passing strong rules to curb polluted
runoff from farm fields, and urban areas. The rules cover
agriculture, construction, urban areas, and transportation.
However, implementation of the rules has never been adequately
funded. It is time to step up and protect our Wisconsin
waters in this budget,” Black concluded.