, , ,

Wisconsin DNR Makes Changes To State Water Pollution Code 

One Change Addresses 'Backsliding,' Or The Relaxation Of Certain Limits

Milwaukee Harbor
Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has approved 10 more changes to the state water pollution code in response to a 2011 letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

One of the items pertains to “backsliding.”

The EPA letter stated 75 deficiencies in state Department of Natural Resource’s handling of federal water pollution regulations. The environmental groups later added legal pressure on the state.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The DNR, in its documents, characterizes the 75 items as “potential inconsistencies between state and federal regulations that govern the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) program.”

The DNR has made dozens of changes, including the 10 approved by the board Wednesday.

The DNR’s Adrian Stocks said one change covers what environmentalists call backsliding.

“The Clean Water Act doesn’t allow for a relaxation of limits that have been posed on a discharge. There are instances where the designated use of the water body had changed,” Stocks said at the Wednesday meeting in Milwaukee. He added that in those cases, the pollution limits can be altered, but an analysis has to be done to make sure the local waters won’t be harmed.