Published November 16, 2012, 07:00 AM

Public welcome to weigh in on DNR rule changes

Repealing or modifying 28 administrative rules and one state statute would help lessen the burden on Wisconsin small business without creating a negative impact on public health or the environment, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff.

Repealing or modifying 28 administrative rules and one state statute would help lessen the burden on Wisconsin small business without creating a negative impact on public health or the environment, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff.

The DNR is recommending the changes in a draft report on the second phase of a retrospective review of rules affecting small business prompted by Gov. Scott Walker’s “Executive Order 61 Relating to Job Creation and Small Business Expansion,” issued in February 2012.

DNR is responsible for more than 3,700 pages of rules dealing with a wide range of subjects, from plants and animals to air, water, and land, many of which affect small businesses.

The DNR launched the retrospective review of these rules last April. The review was split into two phases. The phase 1 report, which recommended repeal or modification of 13 rules, was presented to the Natural Resources Board in June and to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board in August.

The draft phase 2 report is now available for public review and comment. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Dec. 5.

Phase 2 of the report is available for review by searching the DNR website for “rules review,” and then clicking on the link for “Retrospective review of rules affecting small business.”

The report recommends repealing a number of rules that are no longer needed because they have been replaced by federal standards or programs. Some rules are recommended for modification because standards have changed or because they are outdated or inaccurate due to changing conditions over time.

Among the proposed changes are ones that deal with captive wildlife management; fur, fish, game, and outdoor recreation, use of pesticides on land and water areas of the state, water quality standards for surface waters and state grants for programs that have expired or been transferred to other agencies.

Comments on the draft report can be sent electronically or by mail to DNRCleanAir@wisconsin.gov or Eileen Pierce, Wisconsin DNR, 3911 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711.

The final report will be presented to the Natural Resources Board and the Small Business Regulatory Review Board later this year. The Natural Resources Board sets policy for the DNR and exercises authority and responsibility in accordance with state laws. The Small Business Regulatory Review Board has the authority to review rules and determine whether agencies have fulfilled the requirements of s. 227.114, Wis. Stats, which establishes methods for reducing the impact of rules on small businesses.

For this review, “small business” means a business entity, including its affiliates, which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field; and which employs 25 or fewer full-time employees, or which has gross annual sales of less than $5 million according to the law.

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