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May 19, 2015

Changes will be subject of June 2 public hearing in Madison

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed revisions to rules for how the Department of Natural Resources seeks and considers public input and evaluates and discloses the environmental impacts of pending projects at a June 2 public hearing.

Chapter NR 150 of the Wisconsin Adminstrative Code relates to the department's environmental analysis procedures under the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act, or WEPA. A revision to the rule went into effect in April 2014 and current revisions are clarifications to those changes.

The proposed rule includes clarifications to procedures for bigger picture strategic policy analysis and specific environmental analysis requirements for individual department actions.

"WEPA and NR 150 are cornerstone laws for the agency that date back to the 1970s," said Dave Siebert, head of the DNR's environmental analysis program. "Major changes to the rule became effective in April 2014 to make our compliance with WEPA more effective, meaningful and consistent. However, in working with the 2014 rule, it became apparent that a few additional improvements were necessary."

The hearing will start at 10 a.m. on June 2 in Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building, 101 South Webster St. in Madison.

Department staff will make a brief presentation on the proposed rule revisions and the rules process prior to opening the public comment portion of the hearing.

The proposed rule may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted by June 10 at the state's administrative rules web site (exit DNR).

Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via U.S. Mail to Jeff Schimpff, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability (EA/7), P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. Comments may be submitted until Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Written comments, whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearing. A copy of the proposed rule and fiscal estimate may also be obtained from Jeff Schimpff, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability (EA/7), P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by calling 608-267-7853.

Following review of public comments and any modifications from those comments, the proposed changes will be presented to the Natural Resources Board for adoption as a permanent rule at the board's August 12 meeting in Horicon. The package of materials for that board meeting will include the final proposed rule language and a response to comments and will be available on the meeting agenda when it is available. The public may comment and appear as part of the normal board process.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Siebert, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability, 608-264-6048

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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