EPA Accepting Comments on Stormwater ProposalApril 26, 2013
The EPA has formally proposed revisions to its effluent guidelines for stormwater discharges from construction and development point sources. The proposed rule would make several revisions to the non-numeric requirements of the existing rule, as well as withdraw the numeric discharge standards.
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.
EPA Proposes Water Pollution Rules for New and Existing Power PlantsApril 24, 2013
The EPA has released its long-awaited proposed rule for regulating pollution discharges into waters of the United States from 1,200 power plants nationwide, as well as from any new plants.
Academic Analysis of the Public Trust DoctrineApril 18, 2013
Michael C. Blumm and others at the Lewis & Clark Law School have taken on the monumental task of analyzing the public trust doctrine across the United States. A draft of their upcoming article is now available for public viewing.
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.
EPA Survey Finds More Than Half of the Nation’s River and Stream Miles in Poor ConditionMarch 27, 2013
Using data from the 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, the EPA has determined that 55% of the nation’s streams and rivers are in poor condition for aquatic life.
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
S.S. Badger Coal Ash Discharge to Lake Michigan to Cease by End of 2014 Sailing SeasonMarch 27, 2013
The EPA and DOJ have announced the lodging of a proposed consent decree that requires Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan, to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the S.S. Badger by the end of the 2014 sailing season.
Supreme Court Clarifies Logging Roads Runoff RulesMarch 27, 2013
In Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, the Supreme Court ruled that runoff from logging roads does not constitute a discharge from a point source that requires an NPDES permit. The decision upholds EPA’s interpretation of its own regulations and overturns a 9th Circuit decision which had held that permits were necessary for logging runoff.
GAO Report Connects Water and Air PollutionMarch 6, 2013
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 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.
EPA Cracking Down on DairiesFebruary 27, 2013
Snow Cover: A View from SpaceFebruary 27, 2013
EPA Releases Enforcement MapsFebruary 14, 2013
The EPA has released a new tool that allows the public to see graphical illustrations and maps of enforcement and compliance data for waste, air, and water programs across the country.
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.
Fight to Keep Asian Carp Out of the Great Lakes ContinuesFebruary 13, 2013
Over the on the Great Lakes Law blog, Prof. Noah Hall has a summary of recent court actions related to the effort to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes via the Chicago Area Waterway System.
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.