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Public Comment Sought On New Rules Measuring Lakes Water Quality

Wisconsin DNR

Water quality in state lakes and streams is the focus of joint public hearings next week.

The public can also comment on line. Two proposed administrative rules concerning the assessment of overall health of Wisconsin waters are being proposed. The Chief of the Water Evaluation section of the DNR, Marcia Willhite outlines what the administrative rule changes are about...

"...Establishes several components how we assess water bodies to determine if they are unhealthy or impaired. The other one sets procedures for establishing what we call site-specific criteria different than the statewide criteria, specifically for phosphorus. We're interested in hearing from the public on what we've proposed...."

Willhite says they want to know if the process they use to determine whether a water body is healthy is the best way. She says they want to use biology as a criteria, something she says they've done without having it in code....

"...We're establishing a new dissolved oxygen criteria for a small portion of our lakes that have a cold water fishery as well as a warm water fishery. We call it a two-story fishery lake...so we can better assess the habitat for those cold water fish in those lakes..."

The public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on Sept. 12 at the DNR in Madison. Willhite says to allow greater participation, the public may also attend in Green Bay, where the hearing will be simulcast to the Green Bay DNR Service Center on Shawano Avenue.

Written comments may be submitted at the public hearings or to Kristi Minahan by email at kristi.minahan@wisconsin.gov, DNRAdministrativeRulesComments@wisconsin.gov, by U.S. mail to Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, or calling 608-266-7055. The deadline for comments is Sept. 20, 2019.

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