DATCP will revise nonpoint source
pollution technical standards
On Aug. 1, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) issued an administrative rule "scope statement" indicating its intent to revised Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 50, which establishes the technical and conservation standards used to meet the nonpoint source pollution performance standards established by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
DNR's revised nonpoint performance standards became effective in Jan. 2011. They included a new tillage setback standard, a new phosphorus runoff limit (i.e., the P index), a new prohibition against discharge of process wastewater from milk houses and feedlots, and a new requirement that farmers meet runoff reductions in areas where TMDLs (total maximum daily loads) have been established.
DATCP will now engage in revising its rule such that the farm conservation standards and the soil and water resource management framework supports the implementation of the new and modified DNR standards. NRCS has adopted standards for conservation practices that are currently incorporated into this DATCP rule. Accordingly, this rulemaking will also review those standards and made incorporate updated NRCS standards or "may modify NRCS standards to make them more clear or workable in Wisconsin's soil and water conservation program."
It is estimated that this rule revision will take approximately 18 months until final rules are ready to be sent to the legislature.