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Senate approves looser fish-farm regulations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate has approved a bill that would loosen fish-farm regulations.

Under the Republican proposal, fish farms wouldn’t need permits to discharge material into a wetland if the wetland was created for fish farming. It also would allow natural water bodies to serve as fish farms. And farms wouldn’t need permits to construct or enlarge artificial water bodies connected to a navigable waterway.

New permit conditions would be prohibited unless needed to meet water-quality standards. The bill also would require a review of state rules on viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a deadly fish disease.

The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote Wednesday. The Assembly passed the bill last week. Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message asking if the governor will sign it.

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