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Environmental Loans (EL) Compendium of 2015 revisions to chs. NR 162 & NR 166 Definitions

(ss. NR 162.003 and NR 166.03, Wis. Adm. Code)

This page provides information about the changes DNR made to the Definitions sections of the codes. You will find several new and revised definitions in both the CWFP and the SDWLP codes.

Median Household Income (MHI) and Population (Pop.)

We added definitions to detail the process of obtaining median household income (MHI) information for:

  • town sanitary districts
  • county utility districts
  • public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts
  • metropolitan sewerage districts (MSD)
  • joint local water authorities

New definitions related to MHI and population include:

  • American Community Survey (ACS)
  • block group
  • census tract
  • custom tabulation
  • minor civil division
  • place
  • population

EL staff use these terms in the following ways:

  • To determine eligibility and calculate the amount of assistance to provide for a CWFP Hardship Financial Assistance project (NR 162.24).
  • To assess a project's eligibility for and determine percentage of principal forgiveness (PF).
    • The methodology for distributing PF funds is specified in the annual Intended Use Plan (IUP).
  • To establish the project priority score and loan interest rate for each SDWLP project.

Eligibility Determinations

To clarify certain types of eligibility determinations, we added definitions for capital improvements, maintenance, and operations.

O&M or capital improvement?

These definitions clarify eligibility issues by differentiating between activities that are considered operation & maintenance (O&M) and those considered capital improvement. These are important distinctions when funding projects using government funds meant for capital improvements.

Painting water storage tanks

Water tank painting is clarified in the code as being eligible for SDWLP funding as a capital improvement. Through discussions with an external advisory group, SDWLP staff determined that it is appropriate to allow municipalities to use SDWLP funds to repaint existing water storage tanks based on the following:

  • municipalities are not allowed to save user rate revenues for a future tank repainting;
  • tank painting is a high cost activity - especially if there is lead in the paint that is being removed;
  • municipalities typically have to borrow to pay for tank painting; and
  • municipalities often have to award tank painting contracts to a specialized painting contractors.

Municipal separate storm sewer system or MS4

We made a few changes to NR 162 related to storm water/nonpoint projects, including the following:

  • Added definitions for:
    • municipal separate storm sewer system or MS4
    • municipal WPDES storm water discharge permit
    • runoff
  • Shortened the term 'structural urban best management practice' to 'best management practices' (BMP).
    • This allows flexibility in nonpoint issues.

Core scope of work

This is a new defined term in ch. NR 166 that, along with a definition for scored project and a revised definition of project, clarifies under what circumstances it is acceptable for a DNR project manager or construction management engineer (CME) to approve using SDWLP funds for project costs outside of the original scope of a project.

Non-Core costs

In general, unless a municipality requests non-project-specific costs in their SDWLP application, costs outside of the scope of the project (as identified in the ITA and PERF submittal) are considered non-core costs and will not be eligible for funding through that particular scored project.

To implement this concept, we added a page to the SDWLP application form that:

  • provides applicants information regarding non-core costs,
  • sets limits on the amount of non-core items and activities for which the applicant may request financial assistance, and
  • collects descriptions and costs of all non-core items and activities requested.

Scored Project versus Project

Scored project and project definitions are also included in ch. NR 162, the CWFP code. While there is more flexibility with funding in the CWFP, municipalities need to identify, in the Project Description section of the CWFP application, all items and activities for which they wish to request financial assistance.

Equipment Replacement Fund (ERF)

With defining the terms equipment replacement fund and useful life in NR 162, we added clarity for CWFP loan recipients regarding how they should use the equipment replacement fund and for how long they must maintain the fund.

If the municipality received federal EPA construction grant money to construct or rehabilitate the treatment works, the municipality must maintain the equipment replacement fund as long as the treatment works is operational.

If the municipality never received federal EPA construction grant money for work on their treatment works, the municipality must maintain the equipment replacement fund as long as they still owe payments on their CWFP loan.

Contact information
Direct questions about statutes, codes, and policies to:
Jeanne Cargill
Policy coordinator, EL section
Bureau of CFA
For information about a specific loan, contact your project manager:
EL Staff directory - areas of expertise are listed
For EL program information, contact:
Bureau of CFA
Phone: 608-266-7555
Fax: 608-267-0496

Mailing address:
Environmental Loans - CF/2
Dept of Natural Resources
101 S Webster St
PO Box 7921
Madison WI  53707-7921

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Last revised: Friday January 15 2016