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Senate to vote on bill streamlining pollution-credits system

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to approve a bill designed to bolster and streamline the state’s pollution credit-trading system.

The measure up for approval Wednesday would set up a clearinghouse that supporters say would make it easier for big polluters to trade credits with farmers, providing them with a new source of income.

Wisconsin law allows those who discharge pollutants directly into the environment to exceed allowable limits if they buy credits from those who pollute indirectly, like farmers.

Supporters say strengthening the state’s pollution-trading marketplace would save taxpayers the cost of improving public property to meet new phosphorus standards while also giving farmers a boost.

The credit-trading option was set up in 1997 but hasn’t caught on. The bill authors say their proposal could jump-start the credit marketplace, leading to better water quality.

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