Wisconsin Wastewater Variances regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Wisconsin Wastewater Variances: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Water quality standards variance: Wisconsin Statutes Annotated (WSA) 283.15

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Applications: Wisconsin Administrative Code, Department of Natural Resources (NR) 200.20 to 200.25

Fundamentally different factors (FDF) variance: NR 211.14

Chloride discharges: NR 106.83

Mercury discharges: NR 106.145

Ammonia discharges: NR 106.38

Regulatory Agencies

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)

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 provides for a variance from state water quality standards and generally follows the FDF variance from a categorical pretreatment standard allowed under the federal Clean Water Act. For more information about the federal requirements, see the national section WASTEWATER VARIANCES.

The state also has requirements for variance applications for WPDES permit conditions and specific variance procedures for discharges containing chloride, mercury, and ammonia.

Administration and enforcement. DNR's Watershed Management Bureau administers and enforces the state's water quality variances. DNR administers and enforces the FDF variance rules in Wisconsin, including EPA oversight.

State Requirements


WSA 283.15

To receive a variance of a water quality standard, a permit holder must submit an application to DNR within 60 days after DNR issues, reissues, or modifies the applicant's water discharge permit. DNR may request additional information from the permit holder within 30 days ...

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