Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger put pork producers at the top of his list last week when announcing causes and solutions to a phosphorus problem in Lake Winnipeg. The premier unveiled a plan to save the lake following release of a report indicating the lake is at risk. Results of a five-year study in the province have led to recommendations seeking a 50% reduction in phosphorus levels to reverse regular algae bloom and return the lake to a pre-1990 state.

Increased phosphorus is said to be entering the lake due to pollution from cities, wetland loss and livestock farming. Selinger says the Manitoba government will immediately focus on three key areas to reduce the pollutants that are putting the lake at risk.

The first point listed in the premier’s plan is to keep hog manure out of the lake by banning any new hog industry expansion that does not use advanced environmental practices to protect water. Selinger says a permanent ban on winter spreading of manure should be enacted through legislation. As part of the plan, funding would be doubled for best environmental management practices that protect water. A new tax credit would help farmers acquire new environmental technologies to treat manure responsibly, according to a press release from the premier’s office.

Selinger also calls for modernization of sewage treatment in Winnipeg and outlines plans for protecting the Manitoba’s wetlands. Read more at news.gov.mb.ca.