Mercury Ban Goes into Effect without Exemptions AvailableNovember 19, 2010
On November 1, 2010, 2009 Wisconsin Act 44, the mercury-added products ban, went into effect. This ban prohibits the sale of certain mercury-added products including fever thermometers, manometers, thermostats, instruments and measuring devices, switches and relays and certain household items. It also prohibits the use of free-flowing mercury and mercury-added compounds or instruments in schools.
Construction and Operation Permit Requirements for Indirect Sources
Most Recent Action
A public hearing was held in Madison, on November 18, 2010.
The DNR’s Air Program has been permitting indirect sources of air pollution since the 1970s. The original program focus was to insure that emissions from automobile traffic at large developments, such as large businesses, shopping malls, and distribution centers, did not result in violations of the carbon monoxide ambient air quality standards. Automotive technologies and motor vehicle fuels have dramatically improved over the last 30 years resulting in reduced emissions.
DNR’s Air Management staff has developed a streamlined approach to managing the indirect source permit program that will maintain appropriate analysis for large scale construction projects with potential adverse environmental impact, while reducing unnecessary modeling and review for approximately 90% of applications.
Section 285.11 Wis. Stats. gives the DNR the authority to promulgate air pollution rules.
Section 285.60 Wis. Stats. gives the DNR the authority to regulate indirect sources by requiring construction and operation permits.
Section 285.60 (6) Wis. Stats. gives the DNR the authority to exempt types of sources from any requirement, if the potential emissions from the sources do not present a significant hazard to public health, safety, or welfare or to the environment.
The proposed rule revision will allow a general construction permit option for most indirect sources, providing industry and the DNR with a streamlined approach to permitting. The proposed general construction permit option will eliminate carbon monoxide modeling as a requirement for most indirect source permit applications and will eliminate the screening level analysis for roadway capacity expansion projects. Indirect sources may still request a standard indirect source permit with carbon monoxide modeling.
The proposed rule revision will eliminate the requirement for indirect source operational permits and focus control measures toward diesel and particulate matter emissions. The basis for permit exemptions is proposed to change from total vehicle capacity to total impervious surface dedicated to parking and maneuver.
The proposed rule revision includes an exemption option for sources that agree to adopt superior environmental performance through the Green Tier program. Green Tier is based on a collaborative system of contracts and charters crafted jointly by participating businesses and the DNR. These contracts and charters streamline environmental requirements while advancing new environmental technologies.
A revised rule will save businesses and developers about $270,000 annually in permit fees and project analysis related costs. The cost for an indirect source air permit with environmental assessment is $8,250. In addition, the cost to develop an indirect source permit application, including consultant fees, traffic modeling, and documentation can total between $30,000 - $40,000. In an average year, Air Management processes 9 indirect source air permits, so the total business cost is approximately 9 X $30,000 = $270,000.
The proposed changes to NR 411 will enable the DNR’s Air Management staff to shift efforts from environmental assessment review and documentation to permit assistance and compliance activities. This proposal will also focus DNR staff resources to air contaminants of greater concern, such as particulate matter and diesel exhaust. Lastly, the proposal will align the indirect source permit program with previous streamlining initiatives for sources that have similar operations and air emissions.
Scope Statement - July 6, 2005
Rules Proposed for Hearing, Fiscal Estimate, and Background Memo - September 14, 2010
Wind Siting Rules
Most Recent Action
Senate Bill 50 would suspend the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) wind siting rules. The bill must pass both houses by the end of the legislative session in order to suspend the proposed rules.
2009 Wisconsin Act 40 established statewide criteria for the installation or use of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of less than 100 megawatts, and set consistent local procedures for such systems. The Act requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to promulgate a variety of rules that specify the conditions a political subdivision may impose on such a system. If a political subdivision chooses to regulate such systems, its ordinances may not be more restrictive than the PSC’s rules.
The proposed rule establishes uniform standards about the construction and operation of wind energy systems in the state by specifying what political subdivisions can and cannot include ordinances regulating wind energy systems. It also specifies requirements for applications, political subdivision review of an application and decommissioning of a wind energy system.
In Wisconsin, administrative rules can be overturned by the Legislature before the rule’s effective date if the Legislature passes a bill suspending the proposed rule in accordance with Wis. Stat. 227.26. SB 50 would suspend the PSC’s 2010 windmill siting rules and direct the PSC to craft new rules.
2009 Wisconsin Act 40 established basic wind energy law and directed the PSC to promulgate rules to guide political subdivisions who wish to implement wind siting ordinances.
Section 227.11 Wis. Stats. authorizes agencies to promulgate administrative rules.
Section 196.378 (4g) (b) to (d ) Wis. Stats. directs the PSC to promulgate rules about the siting of wind energy systems.
The rule is broken down into five general categories: owner responsibilities, political subdivision procedure, complaints, commission procedure and small wind provisions.
- Before filing an application to construct a wind energy system, an owner must provide notice to landowners within one mile of the system, all political subdivisions within which the system may be located, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), emergency first responders and air ambulance service providers in the area, the commission and the federal office of the deputy undersecretary of defense.
- Any wind easement, wind access easement, or landowner waiver that is entered into must be filed according to Ch. 706, Wis. Stats. In this way, anyone wanting to buy the property will be aware of the easement or waiver. Certain provisions are required and others prohibited in wind easements and waivers.
- An owner must consider existing land uses and commercial enterprises on nonparticipating land within one-half mile of the proposed system site and must meet certain setback requirements described in the rule.
- A political subdivision may not set height or distance requirements that are more stringent than in this rule or certain requirements already in existence, such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards for public use airports. A wind energy system may not be built in the path of existing line-of-sight communications technologies.
- The rule sets noise, shadow flicker, and television, radio and cell telephone interference criteria and provides for mitigation efforts. It also provides for stray voltage testing. Construction, electrical, operation and maintenance standards are set. Requirements for decommissioning are established, including requirements for site restoration and demonstrating financial ability to complete decommissioning.
Political Subdivision Procedure
- The proposed rules specify what must be in an application and what records a political subdivision must keep. These procedural and application-related provisions apply even when the political subdivision does not have its own ordinance.
- Complaints must be made first to a wind energy system owner, who has 30 days to provide an initial response to a complainant. A complaint not resolved within 45 days may be reviewed by a political subdivision, and the political subdivision’s decision is appealable to the PSC.
- This section specifies the process for PSC review of political subdivision decisions and enforcement actions. It identifies what must be in a request for review and what the political subdivision must provide to the PSC. Notice of the appeal must be provided, depending on the situation, to the political subdivision or the wind energy system owner. The PSC may hold a hearing on the matter. The rule establishes time-frames for action if the PSC remands a decision about whether an application is complete back to the political subdivision.
Small Wind Provisions
- The rule creates a different threshold of requirements for small wind to reduce administrative-type burdens for small wind energy systems, such as shortening the time frame for filing notice of intent to file an application, reducing reporting requirements, limiting notification and impact assessment requirements to adjacent properties. The rule also establishes lesser setback distances for small wind turbines.
The final rules establish setback requirement from non participating property owners to either 1,250 feet or three times the maximum blade tip height, whichever is less. They also reduce the amount of payments to non participating property owners adjacent to land that includes a turbine.
Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks and Buses
Most Recent Action
Final rules were published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing new standards for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles. The categories were established to address specific challenges for manufacturers in each area.
The EPA is adopting GHG emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, and NHTSA is adopting fuel efficiency standards under EISA.
The EPA and the NHTSA are referring to the proposed rules as the “HD National Program.”
President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum on May 21, 2010, directing the EPA and the NHTSA to work on a joint rulemaking under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) to establish greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for commercial medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The agencies have each adopted complementary standards under their respective authorities covering model years 2014-2018, which together form a comprehensive HD National Program. EPA and NHTSA have adopted standards for CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, respectively, tailored to each of three main regulatory categories: (1) combination tractors; (2) heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and (3) vocational vehicles.
Heavy-duty combination tractors – the semi trucks that typically pull trailers - are built to move freight. The agencies have adopted differentiated standards for nine sub-categories of combination tractors based on three attributes: weight class, cab type and roof height. The standards will phase in to the 2017 levels shown in the table below. These final standards will achieve from nine to 23 percent reduction in emissions and fuel consumption from affected tractors over the 2010 baselines.
The agencies’ scopes are the same except that EPA is including recreational on-highway vehicles (RV’s, or motor homes) within its rulemaking, while NHTSA is not including these vehicles. The EPA has additionally adopted standards to control HFC leakage from air conditioning systems in pickups and vans and combination tractors. Also exclusive to the EPA program are EPA’s N2O and CH4 standards that will apply to all heavy-duty engines, pickups and vans. Trailers are not included in this rulemaking, but will be addressed in the future.
The EPA and NHTSA estimate that the HD National Program will cost the affected industry about $8 billion, while saving vehicle owners fuel costs of about $50 billion over the lifetimes of model year 2014-2018 vehicles, discounted at three percent.
EPA Emissions Standards (g CO2/ton-mile)
NHTSA Fuel Consumption Standards (gal/1,000 ton-mile)
|Low Roof||Mid Roof||High Roof||Low Roof||Mid Roof||High Roof|
|Day Cab Class 7||104||115||120||10.2||11.3||11.8|
|Day Cab Class 8||80||86||89||7.8||8.4||8.7|
|Sleeper Cab Class 8||66||73||72||6.5||7.2||7.1|
Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans
The EPA has established standards for this segment in the form of a set of target standard curves, based on a “work factor” that combines a vehicle’s payload, towing capabilities, and whether or not it has 4-wheel drive. The standards will phase in with increasing stringency in each model year from 2014 to 2018. The EPA standards adopted for 2018 (including a separate standard to control air conditioning system leakage) represent an average per-vehicle reduction in GHG emissions of 17 percent for diesel vehicles and 12 percent for gasoline vehicles, compared to a common baseline.
The NHTSA is setting corporate average standards for fuel consumption that are equivalent to the EPA‘s standards. The final NHTSA standards represent an average per-vehicle improvement in fuel consumption of 15 percent for diesel vehicles and 10 percent for gasoline vehicles, compared to a common baseline. To satisfy lead time requirements under EISA, the NHTSA standards will be voluntary in 2014 and 2015. Both agencies are providing manufacturers with two alternative phase-in approaches that get equivalent overall reductions. One alternative phases the final standards in at 15-20-40-60-100 percent in model years 2014-2015-2016-2017-2018. The other phases the final standards in at 15-20-67-67-67-100 percent in model years 2014-2015-2016-2017-2018-2019.
Vocational vehicles consist of a very wide variety of truck and bus types including delivery, refuse, utility, dump, cement, transit bus, shuttle bus, school bus, emergency vehicles, motor homes, tow trucks, and many more. Vocational vehicles undergo a complex build process, with an incomplete chassis often built with an engine and transmission purchased from different manu-facturers, which is then sold to a body manufacturer. In these rules, the agencies are regulating chassis manufacturers for this segment. The agencies have divided this segment into three regulatory subcategories - Light Heavy (Class 2b through 5), Medium Heavy (Class 6 and 7), and Heavy Heavy (Class 8), which is consistent with the engine classification.
After engines, tires are the second largest contributor to energy losses of vocational vehicles. The final program for vocational vehicles for this phase of regulatory standards is limited to tire technologies (along with the separate engine standards). The standards depicted in the table below represent emission reductions from six to nine percent, from a 2010 baseline.
EPA Full Useful Life Emissions Standards (g CO2/ton-mile)
NHTSA Fuel Consumption Standards (gal/1,000 ton-mile)
|Light Heavy Class 2b-5||373||36.7|
|Medium Heavy Class 6-7||225||22.1|
|Heavy Heavy Class 8||222||21.8|
Fact Sheet: Paving the Way Toward Cleaner, More Efficient Trucks (PDF), August 2011
Final Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) (PDF), August 2011
Correction Notice: Preamble and Regulations; December 29, 2010
Preamble and Regulations; November 30, 2010
Fact Sheet; October 2010
Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis; October 2010