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News Briefs: Recycling Land to Grow Fees

Summer 1995

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ("WDNR") is moving forward with proposed section NR 750, a rule designed to allow WDNR to collect "reasonable" fees when overseeing Wisconsin’s new "Land Recycling Act" ("Act 453"). The proposed rule also attempts to formalize the process by which "purchasers" must move through the Act 453 certification process.

Because Act 453 grants an exemption from future liability with respect to Wis. Stats. §144.76 (i.e., the "Spill" law), WDNR will be conducting more active review and approval of various proposals and submittals required to obtain the Act 453 liability exemption. Therefore, WDNR feels that an additional revenue source must be found to meet staffing demands under the new program. Also, WDNR feels that the fees will "level the playing field" for Act 453 applicants.

The proposed fee structure calls for "applicants" to submit a deposit of $5000 upon completion of the Phase I and Phase II portions of the "thorough" investigation required under Act 453. Also, an applicant is responsible for 1) Hourly wages of WDNR employees, 2) fringe benefits of WDNR employees, 3) Indirect costs associated with review and oversight, 4) Travel expense of WDNR employees who provide oversight, and 5) other reasonable costs incurred by the WDNR for oversight at specific properties. Once a case is closed under Act 453 the WDNR will reimburse any remaining funds submitted by an applicant.

Interestingly, there appears to be no dollar amounts assigned to the "reasonable" fees in the proposed rule.

Media Contact 

If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Susan Steberl, Director of Marketing, at 414.287.9556 or ssteberl@gklaw.com.

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