I'd appreciate it if someone could help me understand the impetus for Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's phosphorus bill. As a licensed engineer and a city councilman, I just can't see how this benefits anyone other than the engineers that will be designing the upgrades to treatment plants and the contractors that build them.

EPA and DEQ keep lowering phosphorus discharge limits and tightening regulations. The phosphorus can't go back into the environment, and this bill will just shift the cost for removing this phosphorus from consumers of specific products to the entire tax base, effectively subsidizing people who want to hurt the quality of my kids' fishing holes and drinking water so they can have whiter whites.

I don't want to believe that a fellow public servant would propose something like this without a good reason. I ran for city office because I was cynical about my council and didn't understand their decisions. I now recognize that in spite of our disagreements, every one of them is there because they genuinely want to serve and make things better for their constituents. I want to believe that my politicians on the state level are out to do what's best for the citizens of Utah the same way, but this kind of bill really makes it hard to do that.

Shaun Dustin