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Contact information
For more information contact:
Alison Mikulyuk
Lakes and rivers team leader
Ashley Dooley
Surface water grant manager

NR 193 rule changes

Mississippi River

Looking over the backwaters of the Mississippi River at Rush Creek State Natural Area.

The bureaus of Water Quality and Community Financial Assistance propose to consolidate 5 related administrative code chapters governing 3 cost-sharing grant programs into one new administrative code chapter.

The consolidated code will be called chapter NR 193. It will create a comprehensive surface water grant program.

The consolidated code will clarify policies, improve customer service and satisfaction, improve administrative consistency and efficiency and create better and more cost-effective environmental outcomes that serve local needs and advance department management objectives for state surface waters.

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The surface water grant program helps communities protect and improve waterbodies, supporting surface water management from start to finish.

Administrative code consolidation

The department is consolidating five existing administrative codes into one new administrative code for the Surface Water Grant Program. Wisconsin Statutes authorizes the Wisconsin DNR to create and revise administrative rules to implement authorized programs Wisconsin State Legislature [exit DNR].

Public participation is a critical component of agency rulemaking. There are numerous opportunities to participate in the DNR rulemaking process. For ch. NR 193, rule documents will be hosted on the proposed permanent rules and updated as rulemaking proceeds. Information will be posted in the table under the NRB Order Number WY-18-15.

There are two remaining opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process for ch. NR 193:

  1. June 17 - July 24, 2019: Comment on the proposed rule.
  2. July 2020: Comment on proposed guidance outlining how the program will be administered.

Chapter NR 193 timeline

December 2015
  • County conservation meeting soliciting input
February 2016
  • Scope statement published in the Administrative Register
Summer 2016
  • Six regional listening sessions to gather input, 92 stakeholders in attendance
  • Survey soliciting feedback from counties and AIS coordinators, 42 respondents
2017
  • Staffing vacancy
October 2018
  • Virtual and in-person listening session held in collaboration with the River Alliance of Wisconsin
December 2018
  • Draft Economic Impact Analysis (EIA)
March 2019
April 2019 (We are here)
June 2019
  • Rule public comment period opens, target date June 17, 2019
July 2019
  • Public hearing on proposed rule, target date July 10, 2019
  • Public comment period closes, target date July 24, 2019
October 2019
  • NRB meeting for adoption
Winter 2020
  • Legislative review
June 2020
  • Rule signed and published
July 2020
  • Public comment period opens on rule guidance

Current status

Revision of the Economic Impact Analysis

The public comment period for the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) closed on March 26, 2019. An EIA must be prepared for every permanent proposed rule before the Natural Resources Board can authorize public hearings on those rules, per s. 227.137, Wis. Stats. The department is now considering the public comments submitted in preparation of the final EIA. Thank you to all those who participated.

Rule subchapters

1. General provisions
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Administrative policies and general procedures

2. Education & planning
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...for lakes, rivers and AIS

3. County lake grants
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County-wide plans for lake protection

4. Surface water mgmt
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Nearshore and in-water practices, plan implementation


5. AIS control
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Integrated pest management

6. Monitoring & prevention
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Core contractual services for AIS prevention and lake monitoring

7. Land acquisition
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Fee simple or easement land acquisition for conservation purposes


Our consolidation effort has four main goals:

  1. Unite subprograms under one consistent set of procedures and policies
    Example: Cost-share rates differ among lakes, rivers and AIS subprograms.
    Outcome: United procedures will streamline administrative processes and make the grant program easier for customers to navigate.
  2. Update management standards with reference to new statutory programs
    Example: Aquatic invasive species management approaches are defined according to invasive species status under s. NR 40, Wis. Admin. Code.
    Example: Aquatic invasive species control shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of integrated pest management.
    Outcome: The surface water grant program will support management and planning actions in accordance with a modern understanding of best management practices while integrating current regulatory frameworks.
  3. Support management at the watershed scale
    Example: The new education and planning chapter supports work on lakes, rivers, wetlands and AIS, paving the way for grantees to address complex water quality problems that cross ecosystem boundaries.
    Example: "Lake [and] river ecosystem" are used in statutes, but not defined. NR193 defines them with reference the watershed concept.
    Outcome: Sound management of surface waters often requires a watershed-based approach, these changes encourage grantees to 'look upstream' when planning projects.
  4. Enhance accountability, allow for performance standards
    Example: Cost containment measures are required when a service or equipment cost exceeds $1,000.
    Example: Program-approved protocols are required for certain planning and management practices.
    Outcome: The surface water grant funds will be efficiently and effectively applied, maximizing the support of high-quality, science-based planning and management.
Contact information
For more information contact:
Alison Mikulyuk
Lakes and rivers team leader
Ashley Dooley
Surface water grant manager
Last revised: Tuesday May 21 2019