Public Hearing Authorized for DNR Proposal Adopting New NAAQS Standards for NO2 and SO2October 27, 2011
The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board met yesterday, October 26, for its October 2011 board meeting. Among other issues before the board was a request for authorization for public hearing on proposed rules affecting NR 404 and 484 pertaining to adopting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
The Federal Clean Air Act requires the EPA to promulgate NAAQS to protect public health and welfare. State law requires the DNR to promulgate by a rule similar, but no more restrictive, air quality standard when the EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS.
Earlier in the year, the EPA promulgated new 1-hour primary standards for NO2 and SO2. As a result, the DNR is proposing to adopt these standards into ch. NR 404, Wis. Adm. Code. Additionally, the DNR is proposing to revise ch. NR 484, Wis. Adm., to include references to applicable EPA data handling conventions for NO2 and SO2. This incorporation is likely to require additional dispersion modeling and engineering analysis for minor construction and operation permits.
Major NO2 and SO2 emitters include electric generating units, paper mills, petrochemical refineries and metal foundries. However, it is likely that the adoption of the new standards will affect small businesses.
AB 24/SB 24
On that same date, the Senate and Assembly Natural Resources Committees jointly held a public hearing on, Senate Bill 24. This legislation makes changes to the DNR permitting processes.
Among other things, this bill makes various changes to procedures that the DNR is required to follow in issuing certain licenses, permits, registrations, and other approvals. For some environmental approvals, the DNR will be required to repay fees paid by the applicant if the DNR does not provide notice of approval or disapproval in the required timeframe. For other approvals, if the DNR fails to provide notice in a certain time-period, the application is considered approved.
This post was authored by GLLF intern, Lane Oling, a 2L at the University of Wisconsin Law School.