Wisconsin Stormwater-General regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Wisconsin Stormwater-General: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Wisconsin Administrative Code, Department of Natural Resources (NR) 216.001 to 216.55

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Stormwater definition: NR 216.002

Accumulated sediment: NR 528.01 to 528.10

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 fully authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, including stormwater discharges. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) adopted stormwater rules that contain stormwater permit requirements specific to industrial facilities, construction activities, and municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). See the state sections STORMWATER—INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES, STORMWATER—CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES, and STORMWATER—MUNICIPALITIES for more information on the regulation of specific discharges in the state.

"Stormwater" is broadly defined in Wisconsin as runoff from precipitation, including rain, snow, ice melt, or similar water that moves on the land surface via sheet or channelized flow.

Administration and enforcement. DNR's Division of Water is responsible for the administration and enforcement of Wisconsin's stormwater discharge permit rules.

State Requirements


In Wisconsin, stormwater discharges are separated into those related to industrial, construction, and municipal sectors. Permit approvals are subject to standards associated ...

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