2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 200. Metropolitan sewerage districts.
200.45 Rules; special orders; special use permits.
200.45 Rules; special orders; special use permits.
(1) General rule-making authority.
(a) The commission may adopt the rules both necessary and proper to promote the best results from the construction, operation and maintenance of the sewerage system, to prevent damage to the sewerage system from misuse, injury to employees, surcharging all or part of the sewerage system or interference with the process of sewage treatment or disposal or to comply with federal or state pretreatment requirements. Such rules are applicable to all users. The rules may, without limitation by enumeration:
1. Prohibit discharge into the sewerage system, either directly or indirectly, of any liquid, gaseous or solid waste deemed detrimental to the sewerage system, to the commission's employees or to the process of sewage treatment or disposal.
2. Prescribe the conditions upon which wastes may be discharged.
3. Prescribe standards of sewer design, construction, operation, alteration and maintenance applicable to any sewerage system connecting with or using the sewerage system and the conditions upon and the manner in which connections to interceptor sewers and replacement of existing district sewers shall be made.
4. Prohibit or restrict discharge into the sewerage system of the district's service area of any substance if the discharge of that substance would do any of the following:
a. Interfere with the district's ability to meet its obligations under a pollution discharge elimination permit or general permit issued under s. 283.31 or 283.35, or under an air pollution control permit issued under ch. 285.
b. Interfere with the marketing of treated sewage sludge by the district.
(b) The rules shall apply throughout the territory served by the sewerage system and, except as provided in s. 200.35 (5), shall have precedence over any conflicting ordinance, code or regulation of or permit issued by any municipality within the territory.
(c) The commission may adopt, amend or repeal a rule only after notice and public hearing, except that if the preservation of the public health, safety or welfare necessitates putting a rule into effect immediately, the commission may adopt any rule as an emergency rule. An emergency rule is effective for a period of 120 days after the date of adoption unless the commission specifies a shorter period of effectiveness. If the problem that necessitates adopting an emergency rule continues beyond 120 days the commission shall, after providing notice and a hearing, adopt a rule to deal with the problem. Except in the case of an emergency rule, the commission shall publish a notice of the hearing on a proposed rule that includes an informative summary of the proposed rule and specifies the time and place of the hearing at least 30 days prior to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. The notice shall also include a statement that judicial review of a rule is available, as provided in par. (d). The commission shall also mail a similar notice to the clerk of each municipality at least 30 days prior to the hearing. The commission shall identify and take all other steps, if any, that it determines are necessary to convey effective notice to persons who are likely to have an interest in the proposed rule making. Failure of any person to receive notice of a hearing on proposed rule making is not grounds for invalidating the resulting rule if notice of the hearing was published and mailed as provided in this paragraph. Insofar as applicable, s. 227.18 governs the conduct of the hearings. A rule adopted by the commission takes effect upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the district.
(d) Except as provided in s. 227.40 (2), the exclusive means of judicial review of the validity of a rule is an action for declaratory judgment as to the validity of the rule brought in the circuit court for the county in which the district is located or for the county in which the plaintiff resides. Upon the motion of any party the court may change the place of the trial under s. 801.52. If 2 or more petitions for review of the same rule are filed in different counties, the circuit court for the county in which a petition for review of a rule was first filed shall determine the venue for judicial review of the rule, to order transfer or consolidation where appropriate. The summons in the action for review shall be served by delivering a copy to the chairperson or secretary of the commission. The court shall render a declaratory judgment in the action only when it appears from the evidence presented that the rule or its threatened application unlawfully interferes with or impairs, or threatens to interfere with or impair, the rights and privileges of the plaintiff. A declaratory judgment may be rendered whether or not the plaintiff has first requested the commission to pass upon the validity of the rule in question. Insofar as applicable, s. 227.40 (2), (3) and (4) govern any declaratory judgment proceeding under this paragraph.
(e) If any person fails to comply with a rule of the district, the district may obtain an injunction under s. 823.02 or the district may initiate an action for the civil remedies under s. 283.91 (2) or (5). If the district acts under s. 283.91 (2) or (5), the district may recover the forfeiture in a civil action brought by the commission in the name of the district. Collected forfeitures shall be paid into the district's general fund. The forfeiture is in addition to and does not substitute for any damages recoverable by the commission.
(2) Special orders.
(a) The commission may issue special orders in the name of the district directing compliance with the rules of the district within a specified time. All special orders shall be in writing and shall specifically state the action by the user that is required to comply with the order. Service of any special order may be made in the manner provided for service of a summons under s. 801.11. The commission may designate commission employees to issue special orders in the name of the district in an emergency to prevent damage to the sewerage system from misuse, injury to employees, interference with the process of sewage treatment or disposal or substantial risk to the public health and welfare. Special orders are effective and enforceable upon service, unless the commission specifies a later effective date in the special order or agrees to a different effective date.
(b) Any person aggrieved by a special order of the district that directly affects the rights or duties of the person may secure a review of the necessity for and reasonableness of the order by filing with the commission, within 30 days after service of the special order, a verified petition specifying the person's objections to the order or the modification desired in the order. Upon receipt of the petition, the commission shall order a public hearing on the petition and make any further investigations it determines advisable. Insofar as applicable, ss. 227.44 (6), (7) and (8) and 227.45 to 227.48 govern the proceeding. The determination of the commission upon any petition is subject to review in a proceeding, brought within 30 days after service of notice of the final determination, in the circuit court of the county in which the district is located or of the county in which the plaintiff resides. Insofar as applicable, ss. 227.52 to 227.58 govern any proceeding for judicial review under this paragraph.
(c) If the commission does not stay compliance and a person fails to comply with a special order of the district within the time specified, or if a person fails to begin in good faith to obey, the person is creating a public nuisance enjoinable under s. 823.02. The district may also initiate an action for the civil remedies under s. 283.91 (2) or (5). If the district acts under s. 283.91 (2) or (5), the forfeiture may be recovered by the district in a civil action brought by the commission in the name of the district. Collected forfeitures shall be paid into the district's general fund. The forfeiture is in addition to and does not substitute for any damages recoverable by the commission.
(3) Special use permits. The commission may issue permits for the special use of the sewerage system to private persons, firms or corporations for the transmission and disposal of any liquid, gaseous or solid waste determined to be not detrimental to the sewerage system, to its employees or to the process of sewage treatment, upon terms and conditions specified by the commission. The commission may prescribe and collect an annual fee not to exceed $500 for any permit for special use. The permit is revocable by the commission summarily for violation of the terms or conditions of the permit. A holder of the permit does not acquire any vested right or privilege by being issued a special use permit under this subsection. Any private person, firm or corporation using the sewerage system without a permit for a use for which a permit may be issued under this subsection, or continuing to use the sewerage system after notice of revocation of the permit, shall forfeit to the district not more than $500 for each violation. The forfeiture may be recovered by the district in a civil action brought by the commission in the name of the district. Collected forfeitures shall be paid into the general fund of the district.
(4) Hearings; designated representatives. The commission may designate representatives to conduct any hearings required under this section and, except as provided in s. 227.46 (5), may designate any member or employee of the commission for that purpose. If more than one person is designated, the commission shall specify the presiding officer for the hearing. All testimony or other evidence taken, appearances for and against the matter involved and a summary of the arguments of all parties shall be reported to the commission in the manner the commission prescribes.
(6) Combined sewer overflow abatement. The commission shall not establish by rule or enforce by special order or other means a duty on the part of any municipality to abate combined sewer overflows.