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Budget panel delays phosphorus rules

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee won’t make any changes to the state’s rules putting limits on phosphorus in Wisconsin’s waterways.

Co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee said Friday that Senate and Assembly Republicans couldn’t agree on what to do, so a separate bill will be introduced on the issue to be considered later.

Gov. Scott Walker originally called for eliminating the rules designed to cut down on algae, saying that compliance was a burden because it would cost communities millions to upgrade treatment plants. Walker then called for a two-year delay.

Walker administration officials have said they want to see how other Midwestern states and federal environmental officials deal with phosphorus before going forward.

Environmentalists pushed for the tighter limits to fight pollution that leads to toxic blue-green algae.

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