DNR Proposes Additions to ‘Impaired Waters’ List


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to add more sections of waterways to a state list of impaired waters.

The DNR now wants to add 147 waters to the Wisconsin “impaired waters” category. That’s nine higher than a plan the agency first proposed last year. The DNR’s Aaron Larson says this round of impaired waters assessments is the first using phosphorus standards set a few years ago. Larson says phosphorus is a naturally occurring element, “but besides that there are human sources: everything from agricultural sources, urban run off, failing septic tanks.”

Larson says the revisions to the proposed list of impaired waters came after comments from the EPA and many citizens, particularly in Sawyer County. The DNR will accept public comments on the revised list through the end of this month. The state impaired waters list already includes more than 700 river segments, streams and lakes. Water bodies on the list need an assessment that identifies sources of pollution and recommends how to meet pollution reduction goals. The DNR wants to remove 28 waters from the list.

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