Best management practices, cost-share eligibility and standards.
Ch. NR 154 Note
Note: All documents incorporated by reference in this chapter may be inspected at the department and the Legislative Reference Bureau, One East Main Street, Suite 200, Madison, Wisconsin, 53701. Copies of these documents may be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Watershed Management, 101 South Webster Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53702.
NR 154.01 Purpose and applicability. NR 154.01(1)(1)
The purpose of this chapter is to identify best management practices, technical standards and cost-share conditions that apply to the department, state agencies, governmental units, the Board of Regents and cost-share recipients when serving to provide or receive cost-share funds under ch. NR 153
. These provisions and provisions contained in chs. NR 153
shall be met in administering grants under chs. NR 153
The provisions of this chapter apply to cost-share agreements and grants signed after May 1, 2020, unless a waiver is granted by the department under s. 281.65 (4) (e)
NR 154.02 Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
“Best management practice" as defined in s. 281.65 (2) (a)
, Stats., means a practice, technique or measure, except for dredging, which is determined to be an effective means of preventing or reducing pollutants generated from nonpoint sources, or from the sediments of inland lakes polluted by nonpoint sources, to a level compatible with water quality objectives established under this chapter and which does not have an adverse impact on fish and wildlife habitat. The practices, techniques or measures include land acquisition, storm sewer rerouting and the removal of structures necessary to install urban structural practices, facilities for the handling and treatment of milkhouse wastewater, repair of fences built using grants under this chapter and measures to prevent or reduce pollutants generated from mine tailings disposal sites for which the department has not approved a plan of operation under s. 289.30
“Cost-effective" means economical in terms of the tangible benefits produced by the money spent. Tangible benefits include pollution control, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, enhancements to recreation, public safety, economical operation, economical maintenance and enhanced life expectancy of the best management practice.
“Cost-share agreement" means the agreement established between the governmental unit and the cost-share recipient which identifies the best management practices to be used on the cost-share recipient's lands and the cost estimate, installation schedule and operation and maintenance requirements for these best management practices.
“Cost-sharing" means the action of financing a best management practice, or conservation practice by means of a cost-share agreement.
“Dam" means any artificial barrier in or across a waterway, which has the primary purpose of impounding or diverting water. “Dam" includes all appurtenant works, such as a dike, canal or powerhouse.
“Department" means the Wisconsin department of natural resources.
“Governmental unit" means any unit of government including, but not limited to, a county, city, village, town, metropolitan sewerage district created under ss. 200.01
, Stats., town sanitary district, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, regional planning commission or drainage district operating under ch. 89
, 1961 Stats., or ch. 88
, Stats. Governmental unit does not include the state or any state agency.
“Landowner" means any individual, partnership, corporation, municipality or person holding title to land.
“Land operator" means any individual, partnership, corporation, municipality or person having possession of or holding a lease in land and who is not a landowner.
“Nonpoint source" means a land management activity which contributes to runoff, seepage or percolation which adversely affects or threatens the quality of waters of this state and which is not a point source under s. 283.01 (12)
“NRCS" means the natural resources conservation service of the U.S. department of agriculture.
“Priority watershed plan" means the detailed portion of the areawide water quality management plan prepared for priority watersheds as described in s. NR 120.08
“Project sponsor" means a governmental unit or state agency applying for and receiving grant assistance under s. 281.65
“Structural height" means the difference in elevation in feet between the point of lowest elevation of a dam before over-topping and the lowest elevation of the natural stream or lake bed at the downstream toe of the dam.
“Technical guide" means the NRCS field office technical guide, published by the NRCS, which is incorporated by reference for this chapter.
NR 154.02 Note
Copies of the technical guide are on file with the department and the legislative reference bureau. Copies of individual standards contained in the technical guide may be obtained from a county land conservation department, an NRCS field office, or the national NRCS website at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov
, or the Wisconsin NRCS website at: http://www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov
“WPDES permit" means a ch. 283
, Stats., Wisconsin pollutant discharge elimination system permit.
NR 154.02 History
History: CR 00-036
: cr. Register September 2002 No. 561
, eff. 10-1-02.
The cost-share rates in this section apply to eligible costs in projects funded under chs. NR 153
unless specified otherwise in this section.
Except in cases of economic hardship, the maximum state cost-share rate for individual best management practices cost-shared in a targeted runoff management project under ch. NR 153
may not exceed 70%.
The cost-share rates for best management practices implemented in an urban nonpoint source water pollution abatement and storm water management project under ch. NR 155
are as follows:
The cost-share rate may not exceed 70% of the eligible costs for individual best management practices committed on signed cost-share agreements or nonpoint source grants prior to October 29, 1999.
The cost-share rate may not exceed 50% of the eligible cost for individual best management practices committed on signed cost-share agreements or nonpoint source grants after October 29, 1999.
The state cost-share rates for land acquisition, storm sewer rerouting and removal of structures necessary to install structural urban best management practices may not exceed 50% of the eligible costs.
In cases of economic hardship, cost-share rates and flat rates in this section shall be increased in accordance with sub. (3)
, if the project is funded under ch. NR 153
The department may provide cost sharing up to the original cost-shared rate to replace an agricultural best management practice cost-shared under ch. NR 153
, in accordance with s. NR 153.15 (2) (b)
The cost-share rates for agricultural best management practices on cost-share agreements funded under ch. NR 153
and signed prior to May1, 2020, may be amended to use the rates identified in this section.
The following conditions further specify eligibility criteria for cost-share reimbursements under this section:
Wildlife habitat recreation associated with implementation of contour farming and stripcropping funded under ch. NR 153
has a maximum state cost-share rate of 70%.
Flat rates identified under par. (j)
may be used in lieu of calculating cost-share amounts for any project.
For the best management practice under s. NR 154.04 (25)
, riparian buffers, a single payment in addition to installation costs may be made in accordance with the following:
Payments under this subdivision are eligible only for acreage upon which a commodity crop was harvested in at least 2 of the 5 years prior to the signing of the cost-share agreement. The 2 years need not be consecutive if separated by non-grain portions of a normal crop rotation.
Cost-share payments for high residue management systems may not be made for more than a total of 4 years.
Cost-share payments for cover crop may not be made for more than a total of 4 years.
Cost-share payments for nutrient management may not be made for more than a total of 4 years.
Cost-share payments for pesticide management may not be made for more than a total of 4 years.
The maximum amount cost-shared for leases of manure storage tanks shall be 70% of the down payment and lease cost of the tank during the grant period of the watershed project.
A governmental unit may use the following state cost-share rates per acre in lieu of the state cost-share percentage listed in this section:
A governmental unit may establish a flat rate for cost-sharing critical area stabilization in order to simplify the administration of cost-share funding for this best management practice. The flat rate shall be calculated based on the cost-share rate, up to 70%, and the average cost of the practice.
The local share of project costs for projects funded under ch. NR 153
may include funds from federal, local or private sources, or state sources not identified under sub. (1) (e)
In-kind contributions of labor and material used directly in the installations of best management practices may be considered part of the local share of best management practice costs, if properly described and substantiated to the cost-share agreement grantor.
The value of a conservation easement donated to the department, or to any person approved by the department under s. 281.65 (8) (m)
, Stats., may be considered as a portion of or all of the landowner's or land operator's share of a cost-sharing grant.
The governmental unit submitting an application under s. NR 153.17
shall exceed the cost-share limits identified under sub. (1)
if the landowner or land operator that will provide the local share of best management practice installation either meets the application and economic hardship requirements in this subsection or meets the application and economic hardship requirements in s. NR 120.18 (4)
The landowner or land operator shall submit an application to the governmental unit in accordance with this subsection in order to be considered for a determination of economic hardship. The governmental unit may not make a determination of economic hardship for cost-share purposes until it has received a completed application.
The landowner or land operator shall include the following financial information and supporting documentation in the application:
A signed and notarized statement by a certified public accountant or accredited financial institution certifying that, based on a financial statement prepared according to generally accepted accounting principles that:
The landowner or land operator is unable to make the cost-share contribution normally required under sub. (2)
The landowner or land operator will be able to pay the balance of the cost to install the cost-shared practice if the landowner or land operator receives hardship cost sharing under par. (e)
A certification by the landowner or land operator in a sworn affidavit that the landowner or land operator has provided to the certified public accountant or accredited financial institution under this section a full and true disclosure of the landowner's or land operator's financial condition, including a copy of the landowner's or land operator's latest farm financial statement.
The department may require that it approve the method used by the certified public accountant or accredited financial institution under this paragraph.
The governmental unit shall make a determination of economic hardship based on the recommendation of the certified public accountant or accredited financial institution on the application received in par. (c)
If evidence of economic hardship is verified in accordance with the criteria in par. (c)
, the governmental unit shall increase the cost-share rate in accordance with this paragraph for all best management practices for which the landowner or land operator is eligible.
If the cost-share amount is based on a cost-share rate, the cost-share rate shall be increased so that the cost-share rate is not less than 70% and not greater than 90%.
If the cost-share amount is based on a flat rate, the flat rate shall be increased so that it approximates a cost-share rate that is not less than 70% and not greater than 90%.
The governmental unit shall notify the department in writing when it has made a determination of economic hardship.
NR 154.03 History
History: CR 00-036
: cr. Register September 2002 No. 561
, eff. 10-1-02; CR 19-002: am. (1) (h), (i) 1., 3. (intro.), r. (1) (i) 3. b., am. (1) (i) 5., (j) 1., r. (1) (j) 3., am. (1) (j) 5., r. (1) (j) 6., am. (1) (j) 8., (3) (a) Register April 2020 No. 772, eff. 5-1-20; correction in (1) (j) 5., (3) (a) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register April 2020 No. 772
NR 154.04 Best management practices, cost-share eligibility and standards. NR 154.04(1)(a)
The best management practices, technical standards and cost-share eligibility conditions in this section may be used to achieve compliance with the performance standards under ch. NR 151
and shall be used, in conjunction with the other provisions of this chapter and chs. NR 153
to determine cost-share amounts.
Inconsistencies between provisions concerning cost-share eligibility or cost-share conditions contained in portions of ch. ATCP 50
incorporated by reference into this section, and provisions concerning cost-share eligibility or cost-share conditions contained in ch. NR 153
or this chapter, shall be resolved in favor of the cost-share eligibility and cost-share conditions provisions in ch. NR 153
or this chapter.
The cost-share conditions and standards for all best management practices listed in this chapter shall apply to all cost-share and grant agreements signed after May 1, 2020.
The cost-share conditions in this subsection apply to best management practices funded under chs. NR 153
. The conditions in this subsection, subs. (3)
and chs. NR 153
shall be met in administering grants under chs. NR 153
If the department finds that a standard or best management practice in this section is not adequate to implement a performance standard, it shall notify the state agency responsible for the standard or best management practice in writing, or institute the technical standard development process of ch. NR 151
All of the standards and best management practices in this chapter are considered cost-effective best management practices if they are implemented in accordance with ss. NR 153.15 (6)
or 155.15 (5)
Wetlands may not be destroyed or degraded as a result of installing a best management practice.