2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 283. Pollution discharge elimination.
283.31 Water pollutant discharge elimination system; permits, terms and conditions.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 283.31 (2017)

283.31 Water pollutant discharge elimination system; permits, terms and conditions.

(1) The discharge of any pollutant into any waters of the state or the disposal of sludge from a treatment work by any person is unlawful unless such discharge or disposal is done under a permit issued by the department under this section or s. 283.33. The department may by rule exempt certain classes or categories of vessels from this section.

(2) No permit shall be issued by the department for the discharge into the waters of the state of any of the following:

(a) Any radiological, chemical or biological warfare agent or high-level radioactive waste.

(b) Any discharge which the secretary of the army acting through the chief of the U.S. army corps of engineers has objected to in writing on the ground that anchorage and navigation would be substantially impaired.

(c) Any discharge to which the U.S. environmental protection agency has objected to in writing pursuant to s. 283.41.

(d) Any discharge from a point source which is in conflict with any existing area-wide waste treatment management plan approved by the department. No area-wide waste treatment management plan may require the abandonment of existing waste treatment facilities which meet the requirements of this chapter unless the abandonment of such facilities clearly represents the most efficient and cost-effective method of providing waste treatment for the entire planning area.

(3) The department may issue a permit under this section for the discharge of any pollutant, or combination of pollutants, other than those prohibited under sub. (2), upon condition that such discharges will meet all the following, whenever applicable, subject to sub. (5m):

(a) Effluent limitations.

(b) Standards of performance for new sources.

(c) Effluent standards, effluents prohibitions and pretreatment standards.

(d) Any more stringent limitations, including those:

1. Necessary to meet federal or state water quality standards, or schedules of compliance established by the department; or

2. Necessary to comply with any applicable federal law or regulation; or

3. Necessary to avoid exceeding total maximum daily loads established pursuant to a continuing planning process developed under s. 283.83.

(e) Any more stringent legally applicable requirements necessary to comply with an approved areawide waste treatment management plan.

(f) Groundwater protection standards established under ch. 160.

(4) The department shall prescribe conditions for permits issued under this section to assure compliance with the requirements of sub. (3). Such additional conditions shall include at least the following, subject to sub. (5m):

(a) That the discharge of any pollutant more frequently than or at a level in excess of that identified and authorized by the permit shall constitute a violation of the terms and conditions of the permit;

(b) That facility expansions, production increases, or process modifications which result in new or increased discharges of pollutants at frequencies or levels in excess of the maximum discharges described in the permit shall be reported to the department under s. 283.59 (1);

(c) That the permittee shall permit authorized representatives of the department upon the presentation of their credentials to enter upon any premises in which an effluent source is located or in which any records are required to be kept for the purpose of administering s. 283.55;

(d) That the permittee shall at all times maintain in good working order and operate as efficiently as possible any facilities or systems of control installed by the permittee to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit;

(e) That if a toxic effluent standard or prohibition, including any schedule of compliance specified in such effluent standard or prohibition, is established under s. 283.21 (1) for a toxic pollutant present in the permittee's discharge and, if such standard or prohibition is more stringent than any limitation upon such pollutant in the permit, the department shall revise or modify the permit in accordance with the toxic effluent standard or prohibition;

(f) That, if the permit is for a discharge from a publicly owned treatment work, the permittee shall:

1. Inform the department of any new introduction of pollutants into the treatment works under s. 283.59 (2);

2. Require that any industrial user of such treatment work comply with the requirements of ss. 283.21 (2), 283.55 and 283.57.

(5) Each permit issued by the department under this section shall, in addition to those criteria provided in subs. (3) and (4), specify maximum levels of discharges. Maximum levels of discharges shall be developed from the permittee's reasonably foreseeable projection of maximum frequency or maximum level of discharge resulting from production increases or process modifications during the term of the permit.

(5m) The department shall include the requirements of 40 CFR 451.11 in permits issued under this section for concentrated aquatic animal production facilities described in 40 CFR 451.10. The department may not include additional conditions in a permit for a fish farm except as necessary for the farm to meet the applicable limitations, standards, and other provisions described in sub. (3) (a) to (f). Any conditions included in a permit issued under this section for a fish farm shall be limited to site-specific best management practices to the greatest extent allowed under federal law.

(6) Any permit issued by the department under this chapter which by its terms limits the discharge of one or more pollutants into the waters of the state may require that the location, design, construction and capacity of water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact.

(7) The holder of a permit under this section shall pay $100 to the department as a groundwater fee on January 1 if the permittee discharges effluent on land or if the permittee produces sludge from a treatment work which is disposed of on land. If the permittee discharges effluent on land and disposes of sludge from a treatment work on land, the permittee shall pay $200 to the department as a groundwater fee on January 1. The moneys collected under this subsection shall be credited to the environmental fund for environmental management.

(8)

(a) The holder of a permit under this section for a concentrated animal feeding operation shall annually pay to the department a fee of $345.

(b) Of each fee paid under par. (a), $95 shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.370 (4) (mi).

(c) The department shall annually submit a report to the joint committee on finance and, under s. 13.172 (3), to the standing committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over agricultural and environmental matters describing the use of the moneys credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.370 (4) (mi) under par. (b).

History: 1973 c. 74; 1975 c. 349; 1983 a. 410; 1993 a. 16.; 1995 a. 227 s. 851, 857; Stats. 1995 s. 283.31; 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 85; 2009 a. 28; 2011 a. 207; 2013 a. 70; 2015 a. 196; 2017 a. 21.

This section does not govern dam removal. Chapter 31 does. Froebel v. DNR, 217 Wis. 2d 652, 579 N.W.2d 774 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-0844.

A concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) under s. 283.01 (12) includes not only where the animals are confined, but also the equipment that applies the animal waste to fields outside the confinement area, whether the fields are owned by the CAFO operator or others. Any overapplication of manure by the operator is a discharge under s. 283.01 (5) whether because of runoff to surface waters or percolation to groundwater. DNR has authority to regulate discharges from overapplication of manure from a CAFO regardless of whether the discharge occurs on land owned by the CAFO. Maple Leaf Farms v. DNR, 2001 WI App 170, 247 Wis. 2d 96, 633 N.W.2d 720, 00-1389.

The DNR has authority under sub. (1) to issue permits to federal agencies. 68 Atty. Gen. 52.

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