MADISON – On Wednesday the Natural Resources Board approved an emergency rule for the Department of Natural Resources regarding the state’ s environmental policy act.
The board adopted the rule for NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code, which relates to the department’s environmental analysis procedures under the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act, or WEPA. A revision to the rule went into effect in April 2014 and current revisions are clarifications to those changes.
The board originally approved an extension in August 2014, and a 60-day extension was granted by the State Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) in January. A second 60 day extension was granted by JCRAR in March. The current extension of the August emergency rule was set to expire May 27.
“Major changes to these two critical laws became effective in April 2014,” said Dave Siebert, head of the DNR’s environmental analysis program. “However, in working with the 2014 rule, it became apparent that a few additional improvements were necessary. All these changes will make our compliance with WEPA more effective, meaningful and consistent.”
The public is also able to comment on the proposed rule until June 10. Comments may be electronically submitted at the state’s administrative rules web site (exit DNR). Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via U.S. Mail to Jeff Schimpff, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability (EA/7), P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. Comments may be submitted until Wednesday, June 10, 2015.
Siebert said following review of public comments and any modifications from those comments, the proposed changes will be presented to the Natural Resources Board for adoption as a permanent rule at the board’s August 12 meeting in Horicon.
The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed revisions to the permanent rule at a public hearing at 10 a.m. on June 2 in Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building, 101 South Webster St. in Madison..
Written comments, whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearing. A copy of the proposed rule and fiscal estimate may also be obtained from Jeff Schimpff, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability (EA/7), P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by calling 608-267-7853.