Revisions to State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources administrative rules (NR 120, NR 151, and NR 216) to control polluted runoff from urban and rural lands went into effect on 10/1/2002. The laws require changes to non-point source water pollution abatement and to soil and water resources management. A summary of the laws applicable to UW System are included below.
- NR 120 (Priority Watershed and Lake Program): The rule under which the DNR administers the Non-point Source Water Pollution Abatement Program, includes a mandatory component for addressing critical non-point source pollution sites and the procedures to administer grants for cost sharing Best Management Practices (BMPs).
- NR 151 (Runoff Management – Performance Standards and Prohibitions): The rule establishes polluted runoff performance standards for non-agricultural practices, including transportation, as well as performance standards and prohibitions for agricultural facilities and practices. This rule sets minimum performance standards to achieve water quality standards.
- NR 216 (Storm Water Discharge Permits): The rule establishes criteria and procedures to issue storm water discharge permits (Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System – WPDES) for certain construction sites, industrial facilities, and municipalities to limit pollutant discharge carried by storm water runoff into waterways and bodies of water.
Recent development of additional impervious surfaces at various campuses has increased pressure on storm water systems reaching or surpassing their designed capacities. Planned future developments will place even more pressure on these storm water systems. The UW System has a responsibility to appropriately and comprehensively manage its storm water and limit erosion control and runoff pollutants entering bodies of water and waterways. To avoid problems of past practices which addressed storm water issues uniquely within each project boundary, the UW System planned a comprehensive approach to identify problem areas, determine solutions, and develop an implementation plan. All future campus development can then be planned and designed with the overall campus storm water management plans completed and incorporated as necessary, specific to each project.