County Executive Announces Creation of “Clean Lakes Task Force” to Effectively Implement Community’s Phosphorus Reduction Efforts
October 05, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
Group to be comprised of diverse representatives from unprecedented public/partnership to clean up area lakes
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today a new initiative introduced Thursday as part of his 2013 budget resolution that will create the county’s first “Dane County Clean Lakes Task Force,” a diverse collaboration comprised of representatives from the ongoing, unprecedented public/private partnership to clean up area lakes.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to clean our watershed and we know we have to significantly change the amount of phosphorus entering our water to do it. To succeed, we must work together,” said Parisi. “This new task force will bring together the diverse partners who have been making a difference and help us effectively implement the solutions we know will lead to cleaner, healthier lakes.”
The Clean Lakes Task Force will be appointed by the County Executive and comprised of representatives from county government, public entities like the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, land conservation, agricultural and economic experts, and the other public and private partners dedicated to the cause of cleaning up our lakes.
The group will be staffed by county staff and is charged with meeting regularly to share information and provide valuable guidance and input to county policymakers on the most effective means of removing phosphorus from our waters.
Phosphorus leads to the smelly, unsightly algae that fouls our lakes. One pound of phosphorus removed from the watershed is estimated to prevent 500 pounds of algae from forming in our lakes.
The group will also explore the economic growth potential in clean energy, clean water, and agricultural markets. “We can maximize the impacts of our actions if we implement efforts that are good for clean water and our economy,” added Parisi.
The announcement builds on the County Executive’s 2013 budget initiatives for cleaner lakes. Last week, Parisi announced at $4.5 million capital investment in cleaner lakes, including the implementation of cutting edge technology that will remove 100% of phosphorus from the county’s second “Cow Power” manure digester; an expanded $180,000 partnership with MMSD on phosphorus reduction; and increased staff to implement and monitor phosphorus reduction practices in urban and rural areas.