Investigation to determine the nature and scope of environmental pollution and the appropriate remedial action.
Identifying and negotiating with persons responsible for the environmental pollution, in order to obtain cooperation in or payment for the investigation and any remedial action.
Conducting interim remedial action approved by the department.
The department may make remedial action grants from the appropriations under s. 20.866 (2) (tg)
to political subdivisions for remedial action on any site or facility owned by a political subdivision in which the soil or groundwater is contaminated by environmental pollution.
The department by rule shall establish the application requirements and grant conditions for a remedial action grant. The department shall require the political subdivision to include in its application all of the following:
The results of the investigation to determine the nature and scope of environmental pollution at the site or facility.
Comprehensive plans for the redevelopment of the property after the remedial action is completed.
A statement of whether the political subdivision intends to use the cost recovery procedure in s. 292.35
. If the political subdivision indicates in its application that it intends to use the cost recovery procedure in s. 292.35
, the department may not approve the application for a remedial action grant until the political subdivision completes the procedures under s. 292.35 (2g)
The department may not approve the application for a remedial action grant for a site or facility that is not a landfill if the political subdivision caused the environmental pollution.
The department shall require the political subdivision to do all of the following as a condition of receiving a remedial action grant:
Make a commitment to seek contribution of funds from persons legally responsible for the environmental pollution.
Make a commitment to redevelop the property or to sell or lease it for the purposes of redevelopment, if appropriate.
Upon reviewing the application, if the department determines that the political subdivision is eligible to receive a remedial action grant and that funds are available to make a remedial action grant, it shall notify the political subdivision.
A remedial action grant shall equal 25% of the eligible costs of the remedial action. The political subdivision's share of the costs may include contributions of equipment and labor. No political subdivision may receive more than 35% of the total amount of funds allocated for remedial action grants in any fiscal year.
If sufficient funds are not available to make remedial action grants to all political subdivisions that are eligible for remedial action grants, the department shall give a higher priority to remedial actions that will result in all of the following:
The greatest potential to reduce environmental pollution and threats to public health.
The greatest avoidance of development of currently undeveloped land by making the site or facility available for redevelopment after remedial action.
(4) Amount of funding.
In each fiscal year, the department shall submit to the joint committee on finance a proposal for the total amount of grants to be made in each of the following categories: investigative funding grants for waste sites; investigative funding grants for landfills; remedial action grants for waste sites; and remedial action grants for landfills. The department may not issue a determination of grant eligibility under this section in any fiscal year until the joint committee on finance has approved the proposal for that fiscal year and may not issue a determination of grant eligibility under this section under an amendment to the proposal until the joint committee on finance has approved the amendment.
The state is subrogated to the rights of a political subdivision that obtains an award under this section in an amount equal to the award. All moneys recovered under this subsection shall be credited to the environmental fund for environmental repair.
History: 1995 a. 227
In this section, "valid prior lien" means a purchase money real estate mortgage that is recorded before the lien is filed under this section, including any extension or refinancing of that purchase money mortgage, or an equivalent security interest, or a 2nd or subsequent mortgage for home improvement or repair that is recorded before the lien is filed under this section, including any extension or refinancing of that 2nd or subsequent mortgage.
Before incurring expenses under s. 292.11
, 292.31 (1)
or 292.41 (4)
with respect to a property, the department shall provide to the current owner of the property and to any mortgagees of record a notice containing all of the following:
A statement that the property owner could be liable for the expenses incurred by the department.
A statement that the department could file a lien against the property to recover the expenses incurred by the department.
An explanation of whom to contact in the department to discuss the matter.
The department shall provide notice under par. (a)
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner and to each mortgagee of record at the addresses listed on the recorded documents. If the property owner is unknown or if a mailed notice is returned undelivered, the department shall provide the notice by publication thereof as a class 3 notice under ch. 985
The failure to provide the notice or include information required under this subsection does not impair the department's ability to file a lien or to seek to establish the property owner's liability for the expenses incurred by the department.
No notice under this subsection is necessary in circumstances in which entry onto the property without prior notice is authorized under s. 292.11 (8)
or under s. 292.41 (5)
Any expenditures made by the department under s. 292.11
or 292.31 (1)
or, subject to s. 292.41 (6) (d)
, under s. 292.41 (4)
shall constitute a lien upon the property for which expenses are incurred if the department files the lien with the register of deeds in the county in which the property is located. A lien under this section shall be superior to all other liens that are or have been filed against the property, except that if the property is residential property, as defined in s. 895.52 (1) (i)
, the lien may not affect any valid prior lien on that residential property.
Before filing a lien under sub. (3)
, the department shall give the owner of the property for which the expenses are incurred a notice of its intent to file the lien, as provided in this subsection.
The notice required under par. (a)
shall provide all of the following:
A brief description of the property to be affected by the lien.
A statement of the expenses incurred by the department.
The department shall serve the notice required in par. (a)
on the property owner at least 60 days before filing the lien. The notice shall be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner and to each mortgagee of record at the addresses listed on the recorded documents. If the property owner is unknown or if a mailed notice is returned undelivered, the department shall provide the notice by publication thereof as a class 3 notice under ch. 985
In the foreclosure of any lien filed under this subsection, ch. 846
shall control as far as applicable unless otherwise provided in this subsection. All persons who may be liable for the expenses incurred by the department may be joined as defendants. The judgment shall adjudge the amount due the department, and shall direct that the property, or so much of the property as is necessary, be sold to satisfy the judgment, and that the proceeds be brought into court with the report of sale to abide the order of the court. If the sum realized at the sale is insufficient after paying the costs of the action and the costs of making the sale, the court shall determine the liability of the defendants for the remaining unreimbursed expenses and costs.
This subsection does not apply if the lien is filed after the department obtains a judgment against the property owner and the lien is for the amount of the judgment.
History: 1995 a. 227
The department may issue orders to effectuate the purposes of ss. 292.31
and enforce the same by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.
History: 1995 a. 227
Review of alleged violations; environmental repair and cost recovery.
Any 6 or more citizens or any municipality may petition for a review of an alleged violation of s. 292.31
or any rule promulgated or special order, plan approval, license or any term or condition of a license issued under those sections in the following manner:
They shall submit to the department a petition identifying the alleged violator and setting forth in detail the reasons for believing a violation occurred. The petition shall state the name and address of a person within the state authorized to receive service of answer and other papers in behalf of the petitioners and the name and address of a person authorized to appear at a hearing in behalf of the petitioners.
Upon receipt of a petition under this section, the department may:
Conduct a hearing in the matter within 60 days of receipt of the petition. A hearing under this paragraph shall be a contested case under ch. 227
. Within 60 days after the close of the hearing, the department shall either:
Serve written notice specifying the law or rule alleged to be violated, containing findings of fact, conclusions of law and an order, which shall be subject to review under ch. 227
If the department determines that a petition was filed maliciously or in bad faith, it shall issue a finding to that effect, and the person complained against is entitled to recover expenses on the hearing in a civil action.
History: 1995 a. 227
Violations and enforcement; environmental repair and cost recovery. 292.98(1)(a)(a)
If the department has reason to believe that a violation of s. 292.31
or any rule promulgated or special order, plan approval, or any term or condition of a license issued under those sections occurred, it may:
Cause written notice to be served upon the alleged violator. The notice shall specify the law or rule alleged to be violated, and contain the findings of fact on which the charge of violation is based, and may include an order that necessary corrective action be taken within a reasonable time. This order shall become effective unless, no later than 30 days after the date the notice and order are served, the person named in the notice and order requests in writing a hearing before the department. Upon such request, the department shall after due notice hold a hearing. Instead of an order, the department may require that the alleged violator appear before the department for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice and answer the charges complained of; or
If after such hearing the department finds that a violation has occurred, it shall affirm or modify its order previously issued, or issue an appropriate order for the prevention, abatement or control of the problems involved or for the taking of other corrective action as may be appropriate. If the department finds that no violation has occurred, it shall rescind its order. Any order issued as part of a notice or after hearing may prescribe one or more dates by which necessary action shall be taken in preventing, abating or controlling the violation.
History: 1995 a. 227
Any person who violates this chapter or any rule promulgated or any plan approval, license or special order issued under this chapter shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day of continued violation is a separate offense. While an order is suspended, stayed or enjoined, this penalty does not accrue.
In addition to the penalties provided under sub. (1)
, the court may award the department of justice the reasonable and necessary expenses of the investigation and prosecution of the violation, including attorney fees. The department of justice shall deposit in the state treasury for deposit into the general fund all moneys that the court awards to the department or the state under this subsection. Ten percent of the money deposited in the general fund that was awarded under this subsection for the costs of investigation and the expenses of prosecution, including attorney fees, shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.455 (1) (gh)
History: 1995 a. 227