Wisconsin NPDES regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Wisconsin NPDES: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES): Wisconsin Administrative Code, Department of Natural Resources (NR) 200 to 299

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Permit applicability: NR 200.03

Effluent limitations and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs): NR 220.01 to 220.21

Permit applications: NR 200.05

Permit types:

Industrial permits: NR 221 to 297

General discharge permits: NR 205.08

Permit variances: NR 200.20 to 200.25

WPDES permit conditions: NR 205.07

Regulatory Agencies

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Water Bureau of Watershed Management

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Wisconsin is authorized to administer the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for government and industrial facilities, industrial pretreatment, and general permitting. The permit, known as the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit in Wisconsin, is issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There are state applications and annual fees associated with each permit. See the national section NPDES PERMIT for more information on the federal NPDES program.

Administration and enforcement. DNR's Division of Water is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's WPDES permit program.

State Requirements


No person may legally discharge to waters of the state without obtaining a WPDES permit. Wisconsin provides permits under the NPDES program, including those from stormwater discharges and agricultural facilities. This ...

Read more about NPDES