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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

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June 2003

Wisconsin's runoff rules
at a glance

Virginia Mayo Black

About those runoff rules

Nine rules form a comprehensive approach toward controlling runoff pollution. Here's a guide:

NR 151 is the rules package heart
and soul. It contains nonagricultural standards (affecting the people who live in cities, villages, and towns, including building construction), standards and prohibitions for agricultural practices (affecting small and large farmers and agribusiness operations such as feedlots), and runoff pollution standards for transportation facilities (such as streets and highways, airports, railroads, and other mass transit facilities).

NR 120 link changes the Priority Watershed and Priority Lake Programs (which are winding down) and the newer, more comprehensive approach of the runoff rules.

NR 152 contains two model ordinances that municipalities can adopt to set erosion controls during and after construction.

NR 153 contains the Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) Grant Program provisions. TRM grants partially fund activities to reduce both agricultural and urban polluted runoff.

NR 155 contains the Urban Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Abatement and Storm Water Management Grant Program provisions. The Urban NPS grants are awarded to local government to control both pipeline and polluted runoff from existing development.

NR 154 lists details about Best Management Practices and cost-share conditions for funding under grant programs.

NR 216 chnges link the nonagricultural performance standards to the storm water discharge permit for cities and construction process sites.

NR 243 changes require agricultural operations that are required to apply for Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to meet the agricultural performance standards and prohibitions.

ATCP 50 identifies conservation practices for farmers to meet agricultural performance standards and prohibitions.

Virginia Mayo Black is a DNR publications editor and communicator for the Water Division.

About those runoff rules
Legislation passed in 1997 ended selection of future priority watershed projects, but existing projects will continue until the last projects end in 2009.

Performance standards don't yet address road salt, forestry or pesticides.

The rules became effective October 1, 2002, but not all performance standards became effective on that date. Standards that apply to post-construction storm water management, turf management and developed urban areas will be phased-in over time.

Construction erosion controls are applied through Wisconsin Departments of Transportation, Commerce and Natural Resources.

Grants included in these rules are not given directly to individuals, but to local government. These cities, towns and villages can in turn award grants to individuals.

These rules address water quality in storm water, not flooding or inadequate water supplies.

– Carol Holden is an education coordinator for the DNR Water Program.