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Wisconsin Natural Resources Board authorizes hearings for updated WPDES permit rules

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Wednesday authorized a public hearing for two rule packages that modify the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.

The proposed rule revisions provide a path forward to address differences between federal and state requirements that date back prior to 2011 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified 75 potential issues with Wisconsin’s statutory and regulatory authority. The rules that will now move forward seek to address 21 of the technical issues by – among other items — establishing new regulations to cover pollutant discharges when pollutants are present in intake water and methods to calculate effluent limits.

“Our administration has been working diligently to address the previous issues and we believe that these rule packages will help us move forward in our efforts to protect and restore Wisconsin’s vital water resources,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

In addition to the 21 issues addressed by Wednesday’s rule packages, DNR has resolved an additional 36 issues identified by EPA through rulemaking or other means. The remaining 18 issues are being addressed through two outstanding rule packages and other efforts.

“Wisconsin takes its responsibilities to implement the Clean Water Act very seriously,” Stepp said. “Our state has historically been, and continues to be, a leader in many water-related areas.”

Following Wednesday’s authorization by the Natural Resources Board, the proposed rules and accompanying economic analysis will be submitted to the Legislative Council and a public hearing and comment period will be scheduled. The comments and input received from these next steps will be used to shape the final proposal, which would then be submitted to the Natural Resources Board for adoption.

To learn more, visit and search “WPDES permits”