The cost to business is another thing entirely. Republicans seem to have things upside down. If we don't start with reasonable regulation over farm runoff and manufacturing discharge, then the costs skyrocket for local municipalities to keep it clean.
But Republicans are now complaining about the cost of a problem they created:
A group of 31 Republican state lawmakers are calling for the federal government to help ease regulations of phosphorus discharge into lakes and streams, saying complying with the standards is too expensive for small municipalities.
I know, it's impossible to imagine allowing such a thing to continue, and yet it's right there in black and white.
Phosphorus discharge can cause unnatural weed and algae growth in public waterways ... (laws) were adopted in 2010 by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board after eight years of scientific review and input from environmental, agricultural and municipal groups.
But scientific "facts" must be balanced with business, say Republicans. The EPA did just that, but with limits:
The EPA granted the state a waiver in response to requests from Republican lawmakers that will allow manufacturers and sewage treatment plants to be exempt from the standards for 10 years if they pay fees to help cut pollution that rain carries off farm fields, which is one of the main sources of phosphorus pollution.
But that just gave state Republicans a little more time to wordsmith another excuse. Shockingly, making the standards sound "pragmatic" with whiny "arbitrary numeric limitations" was all they could come up with:
In their letter to the state’s congressional delegation, the 31 Republicans state that while the creation of a phosphorus pollution standard was “pragmatic, the real-world application of arbitrary numeric limitations has placed significant strain on communities throughout the state of Wisconsin.”
Paying for Clean Water...Nope: The obsession to cut taxes and freeload off the land continues. Just maybe the cost of keeping our water clean will cost everyone a little more money, at least hypothetically:
The letter cites examples of communities where water utility rates would substantially increase if they have to upgrade their wastewater treatment systems. The 973 residents of Benton in Lafayette County could see average residential rates increase from $40 to $75 a month if the village pursues a chemical treatment to reduce phosphorus discharge, they wrote.
With a dash of Humpty Dumptyism (the practice of insisting that a word or phrase means whatever one wishes it to), Republicans settled for this down the rabbit hole contradictory statement:
The letter asks for permission to revise the standards ... “We do not seek to withdraw from the Clean Water Act or ignore our stewardship of the waters in Wisconsin,” the letter states. “We simply seek a way to balance our responsibility with reasonable expectations that we can realistically reach.”
Love that alliteration..."balance our RESPONSIBILITY with REASONABLE expectations we can REALISTICALLY REACH." Anyone see "balance?" The question is; just when is the time to spend that kind of money?
Sadly, environmental groups struck back with the force, stating forcefully that it was..."unfortunate?"
More than 20 environmental groups sent their own letter to the congressional delegation in response to the request, calling it a “new attack on the sensible, science-based rules put forward in 2010” and “unfortunate.”
Republicans Cost Taxpayer Millions...again:
The letter states the DNR conducted a cost-benefit analysis in 2012 that found the rules created a more than $18 million net economic benefit, including $1 billion in increased property values, $596.7 million in additional recreational economic activity and between $4.8 million and $11.4 million in reduced lake cleanup costs per year.
Our anti-science DNR imagined a world where businesses and communities would unfortunately try to keep our water clean:
The DNR also estimated in 2015 that compliance with the regulations could cost businesses and municipalities $7 billion over 20 years.