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Public hearings OK’d for proposed revisions to runoff rules

MADISON – The state Natural Resources Board has given the go-ahead for public hearings on proposed changes to state runoff rules for agricultural farms, municipalities and developers.

The hearings will be held in early 2010, with dates and locations being worked on now and announced later this year.

Proposed changes for farmers would create new agricultural performance standards to further limit the amount of fertilizer and manure carried into waterbodies when snow melts or it rains.

The proposed changes would also clarify provisions in existing agricultural performance standards regarding manure storage facility closures and direct runoff of manure.

Developers must meet modified construction and post-construction performance standards under the proposed changes.

Other proposed revisions allow municipalities more time to meet the requirement that they reduce the amount of stormwater pollutants entering lakes and rivers by 40 percent. The current rule calls for municipalities to meet that standard by 2013.

The DNR is also proposing changes to the Targeted Runoff Management grant program which provides cost-sharing to operations to address nonpoint source impacts to water quality.

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