2005 - 2006 LEGISLATURE
February 7, 2006 - Introduced by Representatives Gunderson, Freese, Staskunas,
Albers, Fields, Hines, Jeskewitz, Musser, Nischke, Ott, Owens, Petrowski,
Townsend, Vos and
Zepnick, cosponsored by Senators Roessler, Kedzie,
Cowles, Schultz, Darling, Grothman, Harsdorf and Wirch. Referred to
Committee on Natural Resources.
1An Act to repeal
292.15 (2) (at), 292.15 (2) (d), 292.15 (6) (b), 292.31 (1) (a) 2., 2
292.31 (1) (c), 292.31 (3) (cm) and 292.31 (5); to renumber
292.15 (6) (a); to
3renumber and amend
66.1106 (13); to amend
66.1106 (1) (c), 66.1106 (1) (e), 4
66.1106 (1) (f), 66.1106 (1) (g), 66.1106 (1) (i), 66.1106 (1) (k), 66.1106 (2) (a), 5
66.1106 (4) (intro.), 66.1106 (4) (b), 66.1106 (7) (a), 66.1106 (7) (d) 1., 66.1106 (9), 6
66.1106 (10) (title), 66.1106 (10) (a), 66.1106 (10) (b), 66.1106 (13) (title), 74.23 7
(1) (b), 74.25 (1) (b) 1., 74.25 (1) (b) 2., 74.30 (1) (i), 74.30 (1) (j), 74.30 (2) (b), 8
79.095 (1) (c), 79.095 (2) (b), 227.01 (13) (zc), 234.01 (4n) (a) 3m. a., 292.15 (2) 9
(c), 292.15 (2) (e), 292.15 (3), 292.21 (1) (c) 2. g., 292.31 (1) (title), 292.31 (1) (a) 10
3., 292.31 (1) (a) 4., 292.31 (1) (b) 1., 292.31 (2) (intro.), 292.31 (2) (a), 292.31 (3) 11
(c), 292.31 (3) (d), 292.31 (4), 292.57 (title) and 292.57 (2) (a);
to repeal and
292.31 (1) (a) (title) and 292.31 (1) (a) 1.; and to create
66.1106 (1) 13
(fm), 66.1106 (1) (je), 66.1106 (1m), 66.1106 (10) (c), 66.1106 (10) (d), 66.1106 (10) 14
(e), 66.1106 (11), 66.1106 (12), 66.1106 (13) (b), 292.12, 292.15 (2) (ae) 7., 292.15
(2) (b) 5., 292.15 (7) (d), 292.15 (7) (e) and 292.23 of the statutes; relating to:
2identification and cleanup of properties that are environmentally
3contaminated; properties with residual contamination; modifying the
4environmental remediation tax incremental financing program; exempting
5local governmental units from solid waste management standards with respect
6to certain properties; the liability of certain persons for environmental
7contamination on property on which a cleanup has been conducted; and
8granting rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Property with residual contamination after a cleanup
Current law generally requires a person who possess or controls a hazardous
substance that is discharged into the environment, including the person who owns
the property on which the discharge occurred, or who causes a discharge to restore
the environment to the extent practicable and to minimize the harmful effects of the
discharge on the environment. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) usually
has jurisdiction over the cleanup of hazardous substance discharges. The
Department of Commerce has jurisdiction over the cleanup of some petroleum
product discharges and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) has jurisdiction over the cleanup of some discharges of
This bill authorizes the agency with administrative authority over the site of
a discharge of a hazardous substance (DNR, the Department of Commerce, or
DATCP, depending on the type of site) to impose requirements as a condition of
approving a cleanup if residual contamination remains on the site. The agency may
do any of the following:
1. Require maintenance of an engineering control, such as a soil cover, that is
needed to prevent or minimize the spread of the contamination.
2. Require an investigation and the performance of any needed cleanup if a
building is removed that prevented a complete investigation or cleanup of
contamination on the site.
3. Impose limitations or other conditions related to property to ensure the
continued protection of public health, safety, and welfare and the environment and
to promote economic development.
The bill requires DNR to maintain a database of sites for which a cleanup has
been approved but that have residual contamination. DNR must list each of those
sites in the database and must include any requirements imposed by the agency with
jurisdiction over a site. A person requesting approval of a cleanup must pay a fee to
have the site listed in the database.
The bill also requires a person who applies for approval of a cleanup that leaves
residual contamination on property that is not owned by the person to notify the
owner of the property about the residual contamination.
A person who violates the requirements imposed under this bill is subject to a
civil forfeiture of $10 to $5,000 for each day of violation.
Environmental remediation tax incremental financing
This bill modifies the environmental remediation tax incremental financing
program. Under current law, the environmental remediation tax incremental
financing program permits a city, village, town, or county (political subdivision) to
defray the costs of remediating contaminated property that is owned by the political
subdivision. The mechanism for financing costs that are eligible for remediation is
very similar to the mechanism under the tax incremental financing (TIF) program.
If the remediated property is transferred to another person and is then subject to
property taxation, environmental remediation tax incremental financing may be
used to allocate some of the property taxes that are levied on the property to the
political subdivision to pay for the costs of remediation.
A political subdivision that has incurred "eligible costs" to remediate
environmental pollution on a parcel of property may apply to the Department of
Revenue (DOR) to certify the "environmental remediation tax incremental base" of
the parcel. DOR is required to certify the environmental remediation tax
incremental base if the political subdivision submits to DOR all of the following: 1)
a statement that the political subdivision has incurred some eligible costs, together
with a detailed proposed remedial action plan approved by DNR that contains cost
estimates for anticipated eligible costs, a schedule for the design and implementation
that is needed to complete the remediation, and certification from DNR that it has
approved the site investigation report that relates to the parcel; 2) a statement that
all taxing jurisdictions with authority to levy general property taxes on the parcel
of property have been notified that the political subdivision intends to recover its
environmental remediation costs by using an "environmental remediation tax
increment"; and 3) a statement that the political subdivision has attempted to
recover its environmental remediation costs from the person who is responsible for
the environmental pollution that is being remediated.
This bill makes technical changes to the environmental remediation tax
incremental financing program. These changes include the following:
1. Creating a definition of "environmental remediation tax incremental
district" (ERTID) that is somewhat similar to the definition of "tax incremental
district" under the TIF program and creating a definition of "project expenditures",
which means "eligible costs" and other costs incurred by a political subdivision in
creating an operating an ERTID.
2. Making changes to the definitions of "environmental remediation tax
increment," "environmental remediation tax incremental base," "period of
certification," and "taxable property." The bill increases the period of certification,
and an ERTID's maximum life, from 16 to 23 years.
3. Adding to the definition of "eligible costs" the cancellation of unrecovered
delinquent property taxes.
4. Creating procedures for the termination of an ERTID that are similar to the
termination procedures for a tax incremental district under the TIF program.
5. Prohibiting DOR from certifying the environmental remediation tax
incremental base of an ERTID if a political subdivision does not send DOR certain
required forms within 180 days of the ERTID's termination.
6. Requiring that the final report under the program include an independent
certified financial audit.
7. Requiring that DOR be provided with a final accounting of the ERTID's
project expenditures and the final amount of eligible costs that have been paid for
8. Modifying certain provisions of the program to apply to contiguous parcels
of property or land, as well as a parcel of property or land.
9. Authorizing DOR to charge a $1,000 fee to determine or redetermine the tax
incremental base of an ERTID.
Also under the bill, if a city or village annexes property from a town that is using
an ERTID to remediate environmental pollution on all or part of the territory that
is annexed, the city or village must pay to the town that portion of the eligible costs
that are attributable to the annexed territory. The city or village, and the town, must
negotiate an agreement on the amount that must be paid.
The ERTID provisions in the bill take effect on October 1, 2006, and first apply
to an ERTID that is in existence or that is created on that date.
Local governmental exemption from solid waste management standards
Current law generally requires a person who possesses or controls a hazardous
substance that is discharged or who causes the discharge of a hazardous substance
to restore the environment to the extent practicable and to minimize the harmful
effects of the discharge on the environment. Current law generally exempts a local
governmental unit from these clean-up requirements with respect to hazardous
substance discharges on property acquired in specified ways, such as through tax
delinquency proceedings and condemnation.
This bill provides that a local governmental unit is exempt from solid waste
management standards and other legal requirements relating to solid waste for a
property that was acquired in a way that would qualify for the exemption from
clean-up requirements, with a number of exceptions and conditions. The exemption
from solid waste requirements does not apply to a solid waste facility that was
operated by the local governmental unit or owned by the local governmental unit
while it was operated or to landfills that were once licensed by DNR. The bill requires
a local governmental unit to obtain permission from DNR for any construction on the
property and requires the local governmental unit to maintain any health or safety
system on the property, such as a system to collect landfill gas, that DNR required
before the local governmental unit acquired the property.
Voluntary party liability exemption
Under current law, a person, called a voluntary party, who applies for a liability
exemption is exempt from absolute requirements to restore the environment and
minimize the harmful effects of a discharge, and from the requirements of other laws
relating to hazardous substances, if an environmental investigation of the property
is conducted, the property is cleaned up, DNR certifies that the cleanup restored the
environment and minimized the harmful effects of the discharge, and the voluntary
party maintains and monitors the property as required by DNR. Also, under current
law, the voluntary party liability exemption is available even if the cleanup does not
get rid of a substance in groundwater as long as DNR determines that the substance
will naturally break down (attenuate) and, if required by DNR, the voluntary party
obtains insurance to cover the costs of cleanup in case natural attenuation fails.
Under current law, the voluntary party liability exemption is not available for
most sites at which solid waste was disposed of. This bill narrows that exemption
so that only solid waste facilities that were once licensed by DNR are excluded from
In addition this bill provides that, to qualify for the liability exemption for
property on which DNR determines that natural attenuation will successfully
complete the cleanup, a voluntary party who owns the property must provide access
to the property for the purpose of determining whether natural attenuation has
failed and, if so, to allow someone else to clean up the property.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB999, s. 1
66.1106 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) "Eligible costs" means capital costs, financing costs,
administrative and professional service costs, incurred or estimated to be incurred 4
by a political subdivision, for the investigation, removal, containment
or monitoring 5
of, or the restoration of soil, air, surface water, sediments,
or groundwater affected 6
by, environmental pollution, including monitoring costs incurred within 2 years after
7the date on which the department of natural resources certifies that environmental
8pollution on the property has been remediated, cancellation of delinquent taxes if the
9political subdivision demonstrates that it has not already recovered such costs by
10any other means
, property acquisition costs, demolition costs including asbestos 11
removal, and removing and disposing of underground storage tanks or abandoned
containers, as defined in s. 292.41 (1), except that for. For
any parcel of land "eligible 2
costs" shall be reduced by any amounts received from persons responsible for the 3
discharge, as defined in s. 292.01 (3), of a hazardous substance on the property to pay 4
for the costs of remediating environmental pollution on the property, by any amounts 5
received, or reasonably expected by the political subdivision to be received, from a 6
or federal program for the remediation of contamination in the district 7
that do not require reimbursement or repayment,
and by the amount of net gain from 8
the sale of the property by the political subdivision. "Eligible costs" associated with 9
groundwater affected by environmental pollution include investigation and 10
remediation costs for groundwater that is located in, and extends beyond, the 11
property that is being remediated.
AB999, s. 2
66.1106 (1) (e) of the statutes is amended to read:
(e) "Environmental remediation tax increment" means that 14
amount obtained by multiplying the total city, county, school,
and other local general 15
property taxes levied on a parcel of real property that is certified under this section 16taxable property
in a year by a fraction having as a numerator the environmental 17
remediation value increment for that year for that parcel in such district
and as a 18
denominator that year's equalized value of that parcel
. In any year, 19
an environmental remediation tax increment is "positive" if the environmental 20
remediation value increment is positive; it is "negative" if the environmental 21
remediation value increment is negative.
AB999, s. 3
66.1106 (1) (f) of the statutes is amended to read:
(f) "Environmental remediation tax incremental base" means the 24
aggregate value, as equalized by the department, of a parcel of real taxable
that is certified under this section as of the January 1 preceding the date on which
the department of natural resources issues a certificate certifying that
2environmental pollution on the property has been remediated in accordance with
3rules promulgated by the department of natural resources environmental
4remediation tax incremental district is created, as determined under sub. (1m) (b)
AB999, s. 4
66.1106 (1) (fm) of the statutes is created to read: