August 6, 2013: The Senate Committee on Environment and Forestry will hold a public meeting regarding chapters NR 120, 128, 151, 162, 166, 218 and 219 for the right the rules initiative. There will be no opportunity for public testimony.

The Committee will also hold an executive session on AB 131, SB 189 and SB 190. Assembly Bill 131 relates to the sale of lead acid batteries and acceptance of used lead acid batteries. SB 189 relates to a citation procedure applicable to wetland discharge violations, sturgeon spearing license issuance period, electronic methods for reporting natural resource and environmental law violations, publication of class 1 notices, air dispersion modeling requirements and membership on the Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Council. SB 190 relates to the number of wastewater discharge periods required for a publicly owned sewage treatment facility of system. The bill will allow for multiple permits in order to facilitate watershed permitting and adaptive management plans.

August 7 and 8, 2013: The DNR will hold public hearings on revisions to ch. NR 115, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to the shoreland zoning standards under Wisconsin’s Shoreland Protection Program. The revisions would modify certain sections of the code including the impervious surface standards, the nonconforming structure standard, vegetative management standards and administrative reporting requirements. One major proposed change is that the revisions would be that the impervious surface standard to only riparian lots or non-riparian lots that are entirely within 300 feet of the ordinary high mark and allows for property owners to exceed the maximum impervious standards if the property owner can show that the runoff from the impervious surface standards if the property owner can show that the runoff from the impervious surfaces is not draining toward a lake or river or is being treated by an engineered system. The proposed rule would also allow for counties to adopt an ordinance that allows a higher percentage of impervious surfaces for areas of already highly developed shorelines. Properties in the areas of highly developed shorelines would be able to expand the imperious surfaces on their lots, up to 30% for residential and 40% for commercial, industrial or business land uses, without a shoreland zoning permit. The proposed rule would allow property owners with nonconforming structures to relocate or reconstruct the structure if the property owner completes a shoreland mitigation project and the property owners are allowed unlimited maintenance and repair and the scope of the repair is defined by the county ordinance. Additional hearings will be held on August 14, 15 and 22.

What to look for in coming weeks:

August 15, 2013: The DNR will hold a public informational hearing on the proposed bulk sampling activity and the preapplication notice to mine at Gogebic Taconite potential mining project near Mellen, Wisconsin. For bulk sampling, the company has proposed to remove a total of 4,000 tons of rock. The rock would be removed from four or five sites using standard excavating equipment and could also involve some blasting activity. The rock would be loaded on to haul trucks and transported off-site for testing and analysis.

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