Wisconsin Environment - General: What you need to know

Overview of Wisconsin's Environmental Rules


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In Wisconsin, the counterpart to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR is responsible for protecting Wisconsin's land, water, and air from pollution. Wisconsin has been delegated authority by EPA to administer and enforce federal regulatory programs for certain air pollutant sources, wastewater and stormwater discharges, and hazardous waste management. Various state regulatory requirements are more stringent than corresponding federal requirements. Workplace safety and health in the private sector is regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Wisconsin's air program is shaped by its state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP is a plan that details basic strategies for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. As mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA), each state must adopt and submit a SIP to EPA for approval. Wisconsin's SIP was officially submitted to EPA in January 1972 and is frequently amended to comply with the 1990 CAA amendments. The SIP focuses on permitting, requirements for nonattainment areas, hazardous air pollutants, and numerous other air-related programs.

DNR's Division of Air and Waste is responsible for administering and enforcing Wisconsin's air pollution rules.


Wisconsin's water pollution control policy is approved by the federal government. The state is fully authorized to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for wastewater dischargers.

DNR's Division of Water is responsible for the day-to-day permitting, monitoring, ...

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This special report contains a recordkeeping checklist to help you keep track of your records for major environmental laws and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.

Also included are 3 useful tables which provide:
  • A summary listing of federal environmental recordkeeping requirements
  • A list of federal safety recordkeeping requirements.
  • A list of federal recordkeeping requirements for DOT and the Department of Homeland Security as they apply to hazardous material transporters and chemical facilities.
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