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New state law delays sewer plant upgrades

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UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin food, paper, and sewage plants can buy up to 20 years of extra time to comply with the state's limits on phosphorus emissions. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday allowing waste-water discharge facilities to get up to four five-year exemptions from the state's tough new restrictions on phosphorus releases. But first, the state would have to get federal approval for a statewide exemption from the requirements the D-N-R first adopted in 2010.

For each individual exemption, discharge limits would get more stringent. When lawmakers first passed the new limits, communities and businesses said they would have to spend millions of dollars on sewage upgrades. The Republican Walker put a temporary halt to the new rules after he became governor in 2011.

The bill was among 55 Walker signed yesterday in his Madison office. Others will strength state laws against human trafficking, and give victims a chance to escape penalties for any crimes they commit while being trafficked. Also, Walker agreed to ban anyone under 18 from officiating at weddings.

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