March 27, 2013: Natural Resources Board Meeting. The agenda includes request for approval of scoping statement on proposed rules affecting the construction and operation air permit program. The scoping memorandum states that the proposed rules are not intended to alter existing policy or establish new policy. The primary goal of the proposed rules is to improve operational efficiency for, and to simplify the construction and operation permitting processes administered under chapters NR 406 and 407 while remaining consistent with the Clean Air Act and retaining approvability of the air permit program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Changes to NR 445.09 will also be proposed to ensure that a facility’s ability to comply with state rules does not result in a conflict and inability to comply with federal requirements. Potential changes to chapters NR 406 and 407 could affect if, and how, construction or operation permit requirements apply to a diverse group of industrial sources, while potential changes to ch. NR 400 may impact all types of facilities. The DNR anticipates that there will be significant interest in this rule package and will be working with both internal and external stakeholders.
The agenda also includes informational items on the implementation of new mining regulations and an overview of the MacKenzie Center Request for Proposal.

March 27, 2013: Senate Committee on Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications will hold an executive session on SB 35 relating to the procedure for certificates of public convenience and necessity and DNR permits for electric generating facilities and high-voltage transmission lines. The bill proposes to clarify when an application is deemed complete and eliminates the requirement to submit a detailed project plan to the DNR at least 60 days prior to filing the CPCN application.

This Committee will also hold an executive session on SB 55 which proposes to included joint local water authorities to the group of local governmental units that are eligible to participate in the safe drinking loan program and is subject to state cost sharing when relocation or replacement of the utility facilities is required by the construction of a freeway.

What to look for in the coming weeks:

Early April, 2013: The Draft Guidance on Trading of Water Quality Credits is expected to be released for public review and comment in early April.

April 4, 2013: Public hearing on air pollution control permit application submitted by Hi-Crush Augusta LLC. The permit application includes the construction of a new conveyor dust collector, a blasting process at the industrial sand mine and modification of the dry plant processes in the dryer building, and operation of an industrial sand mine and processing plant.

April 8, 2013: The Wisconsin Conservation Congress Annual Spring County Conservation Meeting. Questions considered at the meeting include how to regulate the hunting of wolves with dogs and hunting and trapping within state parks.

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