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NR 140.01   Purpose.
NR 140.02   Regulatory framework.
NR 140.03   Applicability.
NR 140.05   Definitions.
Subchapter II — Groundwater Quality Standards
NR 140.10   Public health related groundwater standards.
NR 140.12   Public welfare related groundwater standards.
NR 140.14   Statistical procedures.
NR 140.16   Monitoring and laboratory data requirements.
Subchapter III — Evaluation and Response Procedures
NR 140.20   Indicator parameter groundwater standards.
NR 140.22   Point of standards application for design and compliance.
NR 140.24   Responses when a preventive action limit is attained or exceeded.
NR 140.26   Responses when an enforcement standard is attained or exceeded.
NR 140.27   Responses when an enforcement standard is attained or exceeded at a location other than a point of standards application.
NR 140.28   Exemptions.
subch. I of ch. NR 140 Subchapter I — General
NR 140.01 NR 140.01 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish groundwater quality standards for substances detected in or having a reasonable probability of entering the groundwater resources of the state; to specify scientifically valid procedures for determining if a numerical standard has been attained or exceeded; to specify procedures for establishing points of standards application, and for evaluating groundwater monitoring data; to establish ranges of responses the department may require if a groundwater standard is attained or exceeded; and to provide for exemptions for facilities, practices and activities regulated by the department.
NR 140.01 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1985, No. 357, eff. 10-1-85.
NR 140.02 NR 140.02 Regulatory framework.
NR 140.02(1) (1) This chapter supplements the regulatory authority elsewhere in the statutes and administrative rules. The department will continue to exercise the powers and duties in those regulatory programs, consistent with the enforcement standards and preventive action limits for substances in groundwater under this chapter. This chapter provides guidelines and procedures for the exercise of regulatory authority which is established elsewhere in the statutes and administrative rules, and does not create independent regulatory authority.
NR 140.02(2) (2) The department may adopt regulations which establish specific design and management criteria for regulated facilities or activities, if the regulations will ensure that the regulated facilities and activities will not cause the concentration of a substance in groundwater affected by the facilities or activities to exceed the enforcement standards and preventive action limits under this chapter at a point of standards application. The department may adopt more stringent regulations under authority elsewhere in the statutes based on the best currently available technology for regulated activities and practices which ensure a greater degree of groundwater protection or when necessary to comply with state or federal laws.
NR 140.02(3) (3) Preventive action limits serve to inform the department of potential groundwater contamination problems, establish the level of groundwater contamination at which the department is required to commence efforts to control the contamination and provide a basis for design and management practice criteria in administrative rules. Preventive action limits are applicable both to controlling new releases of contamination as well as to restoring groundwater quality contaminated by past releases of contaminants. Although a preventive action limit is not intended to always require remedial action, activities affecting groundwater must be regulated to minimize the level of substances to the extent technically and economically feasible, and to maintain compliance with the preventive action limits unless compliance with the preventive action limits is not technically and economically feasible.
NR 140.02(4) (4) The department may take any actions within the context of regulatory programs established in statutes or rules outside of this chapter, if those actions are necessary to protect public health and welfare or prevent a significant damaging effect on groundwater or surface water quality for present or future consumptive or nonconsumptive uses, whether or not an enforcement standard and preventive action limit for a substance have been adopted under this chapter. Nothing in this chapter authorizes an impact on groundwater quality which would cause surface water quality standards contained in chs. NR 102 to 105 to be attained or exceeded.
NR 140.02 History History: Cr. Register, January, 1992, No. 433, eff. 2-1-92; reprinted to restore dropped copy, Register, March, 1992, No. 435.
NR 140.03 NR 140.03 Applicability. This subchapter and subch. II apply to all facilities, practices and activities which may affect groundwater quality and which are regulated under chs. 85, 93, 94, 101, 145, 281, 283, 287, 289, 291 and 292, Stats., by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, the department of safety and professional services, the department of transportation, or the department of natural resources, as well as to facilities, practices and activities which may affect groundwater quality which are regulated by other regulatory agencies. Health-related enforcement standards adopted in s. NR 140.10 also apply to bottled drinking water manufactured, bottled, sold or distributed in this state as required by s. 97.34 (2) (b), Stats., and to determining eligibility for the well compensation program under s. 281.75, Stats. Subchapter III applies to all facilities, practices and activities which may affect groundwater quality and which are regulated by the department under ch. 281, 283, 287, 289, 291, 292, 295 or 299, Stats. This chapter does not apply to any facilities, practices or activities on a prospecting site or a mining site because those facilities, practices and activities are subject to the groundwater quality requirements of chs. NR 131, 132 and 182. The department may promulgate new rules or amend rules governing facilities, practices or activities regulated under ch. 293, Stats., if the department determines that the amendment or promulgation of rules is necessary to protect public health, safety or welfare. The requirements of this chapter are in addition to the requirements of any other statutes and rules.
NR 140.03 Note Note: The groundwater standards in this chapter do not replace the maximum contaminant levels applicable to public water systems contained in ch. NR 809. Drinking water maximum contaminant levels and health advisory levels may take into account such factors as treatment costs and feasibility for public water systems.
NR 140.03 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1985, No. 357, eff. 10-1-85; am. Register, December, 1998, No. 516, eff. 1-1-99; correction made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, March, 2000, No. 531; correction made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6., Stats., Register January 2012 No. 673.
NR 140.05 NR 140.05 Definitions.
NR 140.05(1)(1) "Accuracy" means the closeness of a measured value to its generally accepted value or its value based upon an accepted reference standard.
NR 140.05(1m) (1m) "Alternative concentration limit" means the concentration of a substance in groundwater established by the department for a site to replace a preventive action limit or enforcement standard or both, from Table 1 or 2, when an exemption is granted in accordance with s. NR 140.28.
NR 140.05(1s) (1s) "Approval" means written acceptance by the department of a plan, report or other document that has been submitted to the department for review.
NR 140.05(1u) (1u) "Aquifer storage recovery" or "ASR" means placement of treated drinking water underground through a well for the purpose of storing and later recovering the water through the same well for potable use.
NR 140.05 Note Note: Underground placement of water for the purpose of restoring an aquifer is not included in the definition of "aquifer storage recovery" or "ASR".
NR 140.05(1w) (1w) "ASR displacement zone" means the 3-dimensional subsurface region surrounding an aquifer storage recovery well into which treated drinking water is placed for storage and later recovery.
NR 140.05(1y) (1y) "ASR system" means all of the ASR wells, ASR monitoring wells and related appurtenances within a municipal well system and any interconnected public water system served by the municipal water system.
NR 140.05(2) (2) "Attain or exceed" means that the concentration of a substance is determined to be equal to or greater than the preventive action limit or enforcement standard for that substance.
NR 140.05(3) (3) "Background water quality" or "background concentration" means groundwater quality at or near a facility, practice or activity which has not been affected by that facility, practice or activity.
NR 140.05(4) (4) "Certified laboratory" means a laboratory which performs tests for hire in connection with a covered program and which receives certification under s. 299.11 (7), Stats., or receives reciprocal recognition under s. 299.11 (5), Stats.
NR 140.05(5) (5) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
NR 140.05(6) (6) "Design management zone" means a 3-dimensional boundary surrounding each regulated facility, practice or activity established under s. NR 140.22 (3).
NR 140.05(7) (7) "Enforcement standard" means a numerical value expressing the concentration of a substance in groundwater which is adopted under s. 160.07, Stats., and s. NR 140.10 or s. 160.09, Stats., and s. NR 140.12.
NR 140.05(8) (8) "Facility, practice or activity" means any source or potential source of a substance which is detected in or has a reasonable probability of entering the groundwater resources of the state.
NR 140.05(9) (9) "Groundwater" means any of the waters of the state, as defined in s. 281.01 (18), Stats., occurring in a saturated subsurface geological formation of rock or soil.
NR 140.05(10) (10) "Indicator parameter" means a substance for which a preventive action limit has been established under s. NR 140.20, which is used to indicate the potential for a preventive action limit established under s. NR 140.10 or 140.12 to be attained or exceeded and for which an enforcement standard has not been established under s. NR 140.10 or 140.12.
NR 140.05(10e) (10e) "Infiltration" means the underground emplacement of substances or remedial material, or both, into an excavation that is wider than deep so as to percolate or move through unsaturated material to groundwater.
NR 140.05(10s) (10s) "Injection" means the underground emplacement of substances or remedial material, or both, into a borehole or other excavation that is deeper than wide so as to percolate or move through unsaturated material to groundwater or to enter groundwater directly.
NR 140.05(11) (11) "Land disposal system" means a facility for disposing of liquid wastes consisting of:
NR 140.05(11)(a) (a) An absorption or seepage pond system,
NR 140.05(11)(b) (b) A ridge and furrow system;
NR 140.05(11)(c) (c) A spray irrigation system,
NR 140.05(11)(d) (d) An overland flow system,
NR 140.05(11)(e) (e) A subsurface field absorption system,
NR 140.05(11)(f) (f) A land spreading system, or
NR 140.05(11)(g) (g) Any other land area receiving liquid waste discharges.
NR 140.05(12) (12) "Limit of detection" means the lowest concentration level that can be determined to be statistically different from a blank.
NR 140.05(13) (13) "Limit of quantitation" means the level above which quantitative results may be obtained with a specified degree of confidence.
NR 140.05 Note Note: The limit of quantitation is 10/3 or 3.333 times the limit of detection.
NR 140.05(14) (14) "Monitoring" means all procedures used to collect data on groundwater, surface water or soils.
NR 140.05(14m) (14m) "Natural attenuation'' means the reduction in the concentration and mass of a substance and its breakdown products in groundwater, due to naturally occurring physical, chemical, and biological processes without human intervention or enhancement. These processes include, but are not limited to, dispersion, diffusion, sorption and retardation, and degradation processes such as biodegradation, abiotic degradation and radioactive decay.
NR 140.05(15) (15) "Point of standards application" means the specific location, depth or distance from a facility, activity or practice at which the concentration of a substance in groundwater is measured for purposes of determining whether a preventive action limit or an enforcement standard has been attained or exceeded.
NR 140.05(16) (16) "Precision" means the closeness of repeated measurements of the same parameter within a sample.
NR 140.05(17) (17) "Preventive action limit" means a numerical value expressing the concentration of a substance in groundwater which is adopted under s. 160.15, Stats., and s. NR 140.10, 140.12 or 140.20.
NR 140.05(18) (18) "Property boundary" means the boundary of the total contiguous parcel of land owned or leased by a common owner or lessor, regardless of whether public or private roads run through the parcel.
NR 140.05(19) (19) "Registered laboratory" means a laboratory which is registered under s. 299.11 (8), Stats., or receives reciprocal recognition under s. 299.11 (5), Stats.
NR 140.05(20) (20) "Regulatory agency" means the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, the department of safety and professional services, the department of transportation, the department of natural resources and other state agencies which regulate activities, facilities or practices which are related to substances which have been detected in or have reasonable probability of entering the groundwater resources of the state.
NR 140.05(20h) (20h) "Remedial action" means a response which is taken to achieve compliance with groundwater quality standards established under this chapter. This term includes, but is not limited to, actions designed to prevent or minimize the further discharge or release of substances to groundwater and actions designed to renovate or restore groundwater quality.
NR 140.05(20k) (20k) "Remedial material" means any solid, liquid, semi-solid or gaseous material, either naturally occurring or manmade, in its original form or as a metabolite or degradation product, or naturally occurring non-pathogenic biological organisms which have not undergone human induced genetic alteration, which enhances the restoration of soil or groundwater quality, or both.
NR 140.05(20m) (20m) "Response" means any action taken to respond to an attainment or exceedance of a preventive action limit or enforcement standard as required by s. NR 140.24 or 140.26.
NR 140.05 Note Note: A response may include a remedial action.
NR 140.05(20s) (20s) "Specified substance" means one of the following: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane or bromoform.
NR 140.05(21) (21) "Substance" means any solid, liquid, semisolid, dissolved solid or gaseous material, naturally occurring or man-made chemical, parameter for measurement of water quality or biological organism which, in its original form, or as a metabolite or a degradation or waste product, may decrease the quality of groundwater.
NR 140.05(22) (22) "Wastewater and sludge storage or treatment lagoon" means a natural or man-made containment structure, constructed primarily of earthen materials for the treatment or storage of wastewater or sludge, which is not a land disposal system.
NR 140.05 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1985, No. 357, eff. 10-1-85; cr. (1m), am. (7), (17) and (18), Register, October, 1988, No. 394, eff. 11-1-88; am. (6), cr. (20h) and (20m), Register, March, 1994, No. 459, eff. 4-1-94; cr. (1s), (10e), (10s), (20k), r. and recr. (12), (13), Register, August, 1995, No. 476, eff. 9-1-95; cr. (14m), Register, October, 1996, No. 490, eff. 11-1-96; am. (20), Register, December, 1998, No. 516, eff. 1-1-99; correction in (9) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, April, 2001, No. 544; CR 02-134: cr. (1u), (1w), (1y) and (20s) Register June 2003 No. 570, eff. 7-1-03; correction in (20) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6., Stats., Register January 2012 No. 673.
subch. II of ch. NR 140 Subchapter II — Groundwater Quality Standards
NR 140.10 NR 140.10 Public health related groundwater standards. The groundwater quality standards for substances of public health concern are listed in Table 1.
NR 140.10 Note Note: For all substances that have carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic properties or interactive effects, the preventive action limit is 10% of the enforcement standard. The preventive action limit is 20% of the enforcement standard for all other substances that are of public health concern. Enforcement standards and preventive action limits for additional substances will be added to Table I as recommendations are developed pursuant to ss. 160.07, 160.13 and 160.15, Stats. - See PDF for table PDF
NR 140.10 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1985, No. 357, eff. 10-1-85; am. table 1, Register, October, 1988, No. 394, eff. 11-1-88; am. table 1, Register, September, 1990, No. 417, eff. 10-1-90; am. Register, January, 1992, No. 433, eff. 2-1-92; am. Table 1, Register, March, 1994, No. 459, eff. 4-1-94; am. Table 1, Register, August, 1995, No. 476, eff. 9-1-95; am. Table 1, Register, December, 1998, No. 516, eff. 1-1-99; am. Table 1, boron, Register, December, 1998, No. 516, eff. 12-31-99; am. Table 1, Register, March, 2000, No. 531, eff. 4-1-00; CR 03-063: am Table 1, Register February 2004 No. 578, eff. 3-1-04; CR 02-095: am. Table 1, Register November 2006 No. 611, eff. 12-1-06; reprinted to correct errors in Table 1, Register January 2007 No. 613; CR 07-034: am. Table 1 Register January 2008 No. 625, eff. 2-1-08; CR 09-102: am. Table 1 Register December 2010 No. 660, eff. 1-1-11.
NR 140.12 NR 140.12 Public welfare related groundwater standards. The groundwater quality standards for substances of public welfare concern are listed in Table 2.
NR 140.12 Note Note: For each substance of public welfare concern, the preventive action limit is 50% of the established enforcement standard.
Table 2
Public Welfare Groundwater Quality Standards - See PDF for table PDF
NR 140.12 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1985, No. 357, eff. 10-1-85; am. table 2, Register, October, 1990, No. 418, eff. 11-1-90; am. Table 2, Register, March, 1994, No. 459, eff. 4-1-94.
NR 140.14 NR 140.14 Statistical procedures.
NR 140.14(1) (1) If a preventive action limit or an enforcement standard for a substance listed in Table 1 or 2, an alternative concentration limit issued in accordance with s. NR 140.28 or a preventive action limit for an indicator parameter established according to s. NR 140.20 (2) is attained or exceeded at a point of standards application:
NR 140.14(1)(a) (a) The owner or operator of the facility, practice or activity at which a standard is attained or exceeded shall notify the appropriate regulatory agency that a standard has been attained or exceeded; and
NR 140.14(1)(b) (b) The regulatory agency shall require a response in accordance with the rules promulgated under s. 160.21, Stats. No response shall be required if it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the appropriate regulatory agency that a scientifically valid determination cannot be made that the preventive action limit or enforcement standard for a substance in Table 1 or 2 has been attained or exceeded based on consideration of sampling procedures or laboratory precision and accuracy, at a significance level of 0.05.
NR 140.14(2) (2) The regulatory agency shall use one or more valid statistical procedures to determine if a change in the concentration of a substance has occurred. A significance level of 0.05 shall be used for all tests.
NR 140.14(3) (3) In addition to sub. (2), the following applies when a preventive action limit or enforcement standard is equal to or less than the limit of quantitation:
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