Assembly approves fish farm regulation exemptions

File photo (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has passed a bill that would ease fish farm regulations.

The Republican bill would exempt fish farms from needing permits for discharging material into a wetland if the wetland was created for fish farming; allow the use of a natural water body as a fish farm; and exempt fish farms from needing permits to construct or enlarge an artificial water body that connects with a navigable waterway.

It also would prohibit new conditions on fish farm permits unless they're needed to meet water quality standards and require a review of rules relating to viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a deadly fish disease.

The Assembly passed the bill 64-34 Tuesday despite Democrats' complaints the bill is a gift to fish farms. The measure goes next to the Senate.

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