Air Quality Looking UpMay 8, 2013
The DNR’s new Air Quality Trends website allows visitors to the site to see ozone and fine particles (PM2.5) monitoring data for the state on a county by county basis.
Analyzing the Impacts of Industrial SandMay 2, 2013
The April 2013 issue of Wisconsin Interest, the magazine published by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, has an article making an economic and environmental argument in favor of frac sand mining. The article, "Mining Success," also discusses the impact the sand industry has had on local governing boards.
Assembly "Right the Rules" Process to Look at Water RegulationsApril 26, 2013
As part of the "Right the Rules" regulatory reform process, the Assembly Committee on Environment and Forestry will be having an informational meeting on April 30 to discuss several water regulations, including NR 217 (Phosphorus) and NR 106 (Thermal Discharge).
Phosphorus Webinar AvailableApril 26, 2013
Linda Bochert and Anna Wildeman of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP have made a recording of their recent webinar on Wisconsin's phosphorus rules available online.
New Factsheet Available for Local Water PlantsMarch 27, 2013
Depending on the type of equipment they use and the air pollutants emitted from that equipment, some local wastewater treatment plants and water supply systems in Wisconsin may be required to get an air pollution control permit from Wisconsin DNR.
A new factsheet, WWTP and Water Supply Systems – Do I Need an Air Pollution Permit?, has been developed to help operators of wastewater treatment plants and water supply systems determine whether they need to get an air pollution permit, as well as the requirements for emergency engines or generators used at these facilities.
DNR Accepting Comments on Water Quality Trading GuidanceMarch 27, 2013
To aid in the implementation of water quality trading, the DNR has developed two draft guidance documents, which are now available for external review and comment under the DNR’s new guidance development procedure.
Foundation Comments on DNR’s Guidance Process & TMDL GuidanceMarch 27, 2013
The DNR is currently developing a new process for agency guidance development that includes a public comment period. The Foundation took advantage of the opportunity to comment on the new process (basically the DNR’s guidance on guidance) and another proposed guidance document related to the EPA-approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permits.
While the Foundation is generally supportive of increased transparency and additional opportunities for public involvement, the new guidance procedure, and the use of that procedure to clarify Wisconsin’s TMDLs, is not perfect. In short, agencies should never use guidance when rulemaking is what is actually needed.
The Foundation’s full comments are available by clicking here: http://gllf-regwatch.org/documents/regulatory/WI/GLLF%20Comments%20on%20Guidance.pdf
Agencies Seeking Comments on Guidelines for Wetland MitigationMarch 4, 2013
In March 2012, Gov. Walker signed into law 2011 WI Act 118, which requires property owners to mitigate for wetland impacts if they receive permission to fill wetlands under an individual permit. Guidelines covering what counts as mitigation under the law have been drafted and are now available for public comment through March 15.
DNR Testing New Guidance ProcedureMarch 1, 2013
In an effort to improve transparency and provide more opportunities for the public to give input on key natural resources decisions, the DNR is developing a new process to standardize how the agency develops guidance for complying with state and federal rules and requirements.
DNR Releases Water ReportsFebruary 28, 2013
The DNR has released some of the first reports required by the Great Lakes Compact - a summary of 2011 water withdrawals and the 2012 Wisconsin Water Conservation and Efficiency Program Review.
Wisconsin's Wetland Reform ActFebruary 13, 2013
The February 2013 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer, features an article by attorneys Paul Kent and Jordan Lamb on the recent changes to Wisconsin's wetlands law and the progress being made by the DNR toward developing general wetlands permits.
Just One Word: PlasticsFebruary 6, 2013
Much like Mr. McGuire in The Graduate, the DNR believes “there’s a great future in plastics.” A recent study commissioned by the DNR found that Wisconsin could increase its plastics recycling, and in so doing, realize substantial economic rewards and jobs growth.
County Mulls Lawsuit to Clear Public Trust Concern from Downtown Transit CenterFebruary 5, 2013
Milwaukee County may head to court to request a ruling that the Public Trust Doctrine would not prevent private development of the Downtown Transit Center property in Milwaukee.
DNR Releases Guidance on Adaptive ManagementFebruary 1, 2013
The DNR has just released its long-anticipated “Adaptive Management Technical Handbook.” The 107-page Handbook is designed to help describe adaptive management and how to develop a successful adaptive management strategy for phosphorus discharges.
GLLF Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of WMC in Clean Water Act Permitting CaseJanuary 31, 2013
The Great Lakes Legal Foundation has filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in a case involving a lawsuit against Flambeau Mining Company for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act on behalf of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).
DNR Sec. Stepp Reflects on 2012January 9, 2013
In an interview with The Wheeler Report DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp reflected on 2012 and her tenure as Secretary and commented on what is in store for the agency in 2013.
A Look at Compliance with Ballast Water RegulationsDecember 20, 2012
Good news on the waterfront: the state’s first full year of inspections of ocean-going and Great Lakes ships arriving in Wisconsin ports has found good compliance with the state's ballast water regulations.
Agency Secretaries Discuss Lake Beulah & Permit CreepDecember 18, 2012
At the Dairy Business Association’s (DBA) 2012 annual meeting DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Sec. Ben Brancel joined Michael Best & Friedrich Attorney David Crass on a panel discussing the regulatory environment for Wisconsin agriculture. The wide-ranging question and answer session touched on many different topics of interest to the Dairy Industry and to the broader regulatory community.
DNR Recommends Changes to the E-Cycle ProgramDecember 6, 2012
The DNR has released its E-Cycle Wisconsin 2012 report, which includes program results, updates on compliance with electronics disposal bans, policy recommendations and more.
DNR Seeking Public Comment on Green Tier ApplicationsDecember 5, 2012
The public has an opportunity to submit comments on three Wisconsin businesses that have applied for the DNR’s Green Tier program, which provides credible, creative ways to enable businesses to be a powerful, sustainable force for environmental good and enhance productivity, cut costs and strengthen the health of the company’s culture and community.