Strange Legislature Tricks
So…we’re banning phosphorus. In dishwasher detergent…which the dishwasher detergent companies were slowing getting rid of anyway.
Household dishwasher detergent that contains phosphorus would be banned Wisconsin, under a bill that is poised to pass the Assembly.
“Excess phosphorus leads to weed and algae growth that’s degrading the quality of our lakes and streams,” bill author Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison) said Tuesday. “People don’t come to enjoy our lakes and rivers if they’re fouled with weeds and algae.”
The bill has the support of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and the Soap and Detergent Association, a trade organization in Washington, D.C., that represents soap manufacturers.
If it becomes law, the measure would take effect in July 2010, when the soap and detergent industry is already planning to make non-phosphorus products widely available, said Dennis Griesing, vice president of government affairs for the Soap and Detergent Association.
Fifteen states have such laws in place already, he said.
Jennifer Giegerich, Capitol liaison for the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, said the products are changing because enough states are taking action to limit the use of phosphorus.
“Why not join that bandwagon, since it is an issue that we know is a problem for Wisconsin?” Giegerich said. “The more states that do it, the more that it’s likely the manufactures just phase it out all together.”
I wrote in April a post about what’s happened in Washington State did the same thing earlier this year around the Spokane area (the entire state enacts its own ban next year). The people of Spokane found that the phosphorus-free detergent wasn’t cleaning their dishes as well as the ‘nasty stuff,’ so they’d head in the car and travel to neighboring Oregon which hadn’t enacted a ban on phosphorus detergent and buy out stores in border towns.
It was a lot like the old Oleo runs. (Kids, ask your parents.)