NR 200.11(1)(1)Once an application is complete, the department shall tentatively decide whether to prepare a draft permit or to deny the application.
NR 200.11(2) (2)If the department tentatively decides to deny the permit application, the department shall issue a notice of intent to deny. A notice of intent to deny the permit application shall follow the same procedures as any draft permit prepared under this section. If the department's final decision is that the tentative decision to deny the permit application was incorrect, the department shall withdraw the notice of intent to deny and proceed to prepare a draft permit under sub. (4).
NR 200.11(3) (3)If the department tentatively decides to issue a WPDES permit, a draft permit shall be prepared under sub. (4).
NR 200.11(4) (4)A draft permit shall contain terms and conditions required pursuant to ch. 283, Stats., and all rules promulgated pursuant to ch. 283, Stats.
NR 200.11(5) (5)All draft permits prepared by the department under this section shall be accompanied by a fact sheet if required under ch. NR 201. The department shall provide public notice of the draft permit and fact sheet, and opportunity for a public hearing under ch. NR 203 and ch. 283, Stats.
NR 200.11 History History: CR 14-027: cr. Register July 2015 No. 715, eff. 8-1-15; correction in (2), (3) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register July 2015 No. 715.
subch. III of ch. NR 200 Subchapter III — Application for Water Quality Standards Variances
NR 200.20 NR 200.20 General.
NR 200.20(1)(1)When the department issues, reissues or modifies a permit to include a water quality based effluent limitation under s. 283.13 (5), Stats., the permittee may apply to the department for a variance from the water quality standard used to derive the limitation. 
NR 200.20(2) (2)In order to obtain a variance, a permittee shall demonstrate, by the greater weight of credible evidence, that attaining the water quality standard is not feasible because of one or more of the following:
NR 200.20(2)(a) (a) Naturally occurring pollutant concentrations prevent the attainment of the standard.
NR 200.20(2)(b) (b) Natural, ephemeral, intermittent or low flow conditions or water levels prevent the attainment of the standard, unless these conditions may be compensated for by the discharge of sufficient volume of effluent discharges without violating water conservation requirements.
NR 200.20(2)(c) (c) Human caused conditions or sources of pollution prevent the attainment of the standard and cannot be remedied or would cause more environmental damage to correct than to leave in place.
NR 200.20(2)(d) (d) Dams, diversions or other types of hydrological modifications preclude the attainment of the standard, and it is not feasible to restore the water body to its original condition or to operate the modification in a way that would result in the attainment of the standard.
NR 200.20(2)(e) (e) Physical conditions related to the natural features of the water body, such as the lack of proper substrate, cover, flow, depth, pools, riffles, and the like, unrelated to water quality, preclude attainment of aquatic life protection uses.
NR 200.20(2)(f) (f) The standard, as applied to the permittee, will cause substantial and widespread adverse social and economic impacts in the area where the permittee is located.
NR 200.20 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99.
NR 200.21 NR 200.21 Time deadline for filing variance requests.
NR 200.21(1)(1)Applications. A permittee who wishes to apply for a variance from a water quality based effluent limitation shall submit an application for a variance within the time period specified in s. 283.15 (2) (am) (1), Stats.
NR 200.21(2) (2)Expedited variance. As an alternative to sub. (1), a permittee may apply for a variance as part of the application for permit reissuance under s. 283.15 (2) (a), Stats. Any application for a variance under s. 283.15, Stats., shall comply with application requirements of s. NR 200.20. The department may notify a permit applicant before the permit application for reissuance is submitted that the permittee may apply for a variance to the water quality based effluent limitations that are likely to be included in the final permit or may seek renewal of a variance that has already been granted.
NR 200.21 Note Note: Submittal of a variance application with the application for permit reissuance is the preferred method for submittal.
NR 200.21 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99; CR 17-002: renum. 200.21 to (1) and am., cr. (2) Register April 2018 No. 748, eff. 5-1-18.
NR 200.22 NR 200.22 Information to be included in an application for a variance.
NR 200.22(1)(1)A permittee applying for a variance shall supply the following information:
NR 200.22(1)(a) (a) Facility name, address and WPDES permit number.
NR 200.22(1)(b) (b) The name, address and telephone [number] of a facility contact person.
NR 200.22(1)(c) (c) The date the permit was issued, reissued or modified which gives rise to the request for a variance.
NR 200.22(1)(d) (d) Each water quality standard, pollutant and corresponding effluent limitation for which a variance is being requested.
NR 200.22(1)(e) (e) Results of monitoring data for the pollutant for which the permittee is seeking a variance which represents the past and current levels of effluent quality. Monitoring shall conform with the following:
NR 200.22(1)(e)1. 1. The submittal shall specify sample location, sample type, sampling dates, analysis dates and laboratory name and certification number.
NR 200.22(1)(e)2. 2. Data quantity shall be sufficient to allow appropriate statistical treatment to characterize effluent quality over time.
NR 200.22(1)(e)3. 3. Samples shall be collected on days when contributions from industrial, commercial or other processes or sources of wastewater are expected to be at normal levels.
NR 200.22(1)(e)4. 4. Results of monitoring shall be summarized in tabular or graphical format or both.
NR 200.22(1)(e)5. 5. Any changes, such as changes in contract lab or method of analysis or treatment or process changes that occurred which may have affected results or could explain data trends shall be noted and an explanation provided.
NR 200.22(1)(e)6. 6. In addition, for this data to be considered to be representative, the permittee shall supply information to demonstrate that:
NR 200.22(1)(e)6.a. a. Sample results fall above the limit of quantitation for the analytical method used or that the most sensitive approved analytical method listed for the pollutant in ch. NR 219 was used with proper technique to produce the results.
NR 200.22(1)(e)6.b. b. Proper laboratory quality control procedures were used to generate the data. To make this demonstration, the permittee shall supply, for several representative analytical runs, the raw data for samples, instrument initial and continuing calibrations, and all applicable quality control samples.
NR 200.22(1)(e)6.c. c. Proper sampling quality control procedures designed to minimize sample contamination were used. This demonstration shall include a description of sampling procedures and submittal of results of field blanks. A field blank is a volume of reagent grade water which is handled in such a way so as to duplicate as closely as possible the exposure of a water sample to potential sources of contamination during sampling, preservation and transportation to the laboratory.
NR 200.22(1)(f) (f) Changes which could be made to enhance treatment or source reduction of flows coming to the treatment facility or which would reduce the level of toxicity or the discharge of the pollutant for which the permittee is seeking a variance. This information shall include the following:
NR 200.22(1)(f)1. 1. An estimate of capital and operating costs for the changes and a reasonable schedule for planning and accomplishing the work.
NR 200.22(1)(f)2. 2. If the source of the pollutant is believed to be from dissolution of metals from water supply distribution piping materials:
NR 200.22(1)(f)2.a. a. Information on past and current water supply treatment practices which may increase or decrease the corrosive nature of the water supply including what changes have been made and when.
NR 200.22(1)(f)2.b. b. Data on the water supply stability or corrosivity, using one of various methods of determination, for the raw and treated water supply.
NR 200.22(1)(f)2.c. c. Other potential water sources or methods of water supply treatment as an alternative.
NR 200.22(1)(g) (g) Information which establishes the significance of industrial and commercial wastewater sources versus domestic wastewater sources of the pollutant for which a variance is requested. This may include an approximate mass-balance calculation of treatment system loadings from all sources.
NR 200.22(1)(h) (h) For facilities which monitor the treatment system sludge pursuant to requirements in ch. NR 204 or 214 for the pollutant for which a variance is requested, results of the most recent 3 years of sludge testing, along with volumes disposed of so as to perform an approximate mass balance of the pollutant entering and leaving the plant.
NR 200.22(1)(i) (i) If a variance is being requested for whole effluent toxicity in conjunction with a specific chemical pollutant or if whole effluent toxicity failures have been experienced and they are believed to have resulted from the pollutant for which the variance is being requested, evidence which points to the pollutant as the cause of the whole effluent toxicity failures.
NR 200.22(1)(j) (j) Effluent limitations which the permittee believes it can currently achieve.
NR 200.22(1)(k) (k) Effluent limitations which the permittee believes it can achieve at some later date during the term of the variance and the corresponding schedule which would be followed to meet these limitations.
NR 200.22(1)(L) (L) Whether the permittee believes it can meet the effluent limitations that give rise to the variance request at any time during the term of the permit.
NR 200.22(1)(m) (m) A detailed discussion of evidence and reasons why the permittee believes a variance is warranted based on one or more of the grounds listed in s. NR 200.20 (2).
NR 200.22(1)(n) (n) Demonstration that the variance requested conforms with antidegradation requirements specified in ch. NR 207.
NR 200.22(1)(o) (o) Characterization of the extent of any increased risk to human health and the environment associated with granting the variance so as to allow the department to decide if such increased risk is consistent with protection of the public health, safety and welfare.
NR 200.22(1)(p) (p) For variance requests based on s. NR 200.20 (2) (f), the permittee shall conduct a financial impact analysis which shall include an estimate of the capital, operation and maintenance and financing costs, translated into an annualized cost, of potential changes identified in par. (g) compared with an analysis of financial affordability. The analysis of financial affordability shall include:
NR 200.22(1)(p)1. 1. For publicly owned systems, an estimate of how much annual municipal revenue would need to increase, taking into account any offsetting state shared revenues if the most cost-effective pollutant control option was implemented and how this would affect user fees if user fees were used to finance the costs. This analysis shall also compare projected user fees with user fees in similar communities. If industrial or commercial contributions comprise a significant source of the pollutant, information requested in subd. 2. shall also be provided.
NR 200.22(1)(p)2. 2. For privately owned systems or if the most cost-effective pollutant control option for a publicly owned system involves additional regulation of privately owned contributors as the impacted parties, an estimate of how implementing the most cost-effective pollutant control option would affect profitability and other financial health indicators of the private entity.
NR 200.22(1)(p)3. 3. An analysis of the socioeconomic impacts to the community where the entity is located.
NR 200.22 Note Note: Permittees may find helpful a United States Environmental Protection Agency publication titled Interim Economic Guidance for Water Quality Standards - Workbook, EPA-823-B-95-002, March 1995. Information on ordering EPA publications can be found on the World Wide Web at
NR 200.22(2) (2)In addition to the information required in sub. (1), the permittee may, within the 60-day time limits specified in s. NR 200.21, submit to the department any other information to support the request for a variance.
NR 200.22 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99; CR 17-046: am. (1) (e) 6. b. Register February 2021 No. 782, eff. 6-29-21.
NR 200.23 NR 200.23 Signature of authorized representative. Pursuant to s. NR 205.07 (1) (g), a person submitting an application for a variance shall include a signed statement by an authorized representative that certifies to the accuracy of the information.
NR 200.23 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99.
NR 200.24 NR 200.24 Application completeness. When the department receives an application for a variance:
NR 200.24(1) (1)The department may request additional information from the permittee within 30 days after receiving the application. The permittee shall provide the additional information within 30 days of receipt of the department's request. An application is not complete until the additional information is provided to the department.
NR 200.24(2) (2)If the permittee does not provide information as required under s. NR 200.22 or sub. (1), the department shall deny the application.
NR 200.24 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99.
NR 200.25 NR 200.25 Time periods for department action on applications. The department shall adhere to the time deadlines specified in s. 283.15, Stats., in making determinations of application completeness and tentative and final decisions on variance requests.
NR 200.25 Note Note: These time deadlines are as follows: (1) Public notice of receipt of an application for a variance within 30 days after receipt of the information specified in s. NR 200.22 or 200.24 (1), if applicable. (2) Public notice of a tentative decision within 120 days after receipt of the information specified in s. NR 200.22 or 200.24 (1), if applicable. (3) Final decision within 90 days after expiration of the 30-day public notice comment period under sub. (2).
NR 200.25 History History: Cr. Register, November, 1999, No. 527, eff. 12-1-99.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.