Skip to Search
Skip to Main Content
Main Content


News & Publications


Godfrey & Kahn Updates


Press Room


Wisconsin DNR Signs on to EPA’s “One Clean-Up Program” in an Effort to Streamline Clean-Up Efforts In Wisconsin

February 07, 2007

WDNR and EPA Region 5 recently signed an agreement between the two agencies which purports to expedite the clean-up of contaminated properties in Wisconsin. A significant barrier to the development of contaminated sites has been potential property developers’ fear that, after cleaning-up property to the satisfaction of state regulatory agencies, their development efforts might be frustrated or further delayed by federal regulators. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed by WDNR Secretary Scott Hassett and EPA Regional Director Mary Gade attempts to address this impediment to development in Wisconsin.

In the MOU, EPA announces that it “does not plan or anticipate taking actions under” RCRA, Subtitle C or I, CERCLA or TSCA as it relates to PCB contamination under Section 6(e) at sites that are being addressed or overseen by WDNR, so long as those sites remain in compliance with Wisconsin’s environmental laws. The purpose of this announcement is to provide some comfort to potential developers of contaminated property that their development efforts will not be frustrated or delayed by EPA so long as they satisfy Wisconsin’s clean-up standards and remain in compliance with Wisconsin environmental laws.

However, the MOU should only provide limited comfort to potential developers. The MOU states explicitly that it has no legally binding effect, does not create any rights or obligations, and does not alter the authority of EPA or WDNR. Further, EPA limits its announcement that it “does not plan or anticipate taking actions” under certain environmental laws by stating that EPA will still take action where a contaminated site “present[s] an imminent and substantial threat to public health or welfare or the environment,” or where EPA finds that WDNR’s actions are untimely or inadequately protective of public health or the environment.

These provisions in the MOU significantly limit its potential to provide comfort against the regulated community’s fear of over-filing and dual regulation. Nonetheless, this presents a significant step toward recognizing the need to lighten the regulatory burden in order to encourage development in Wisconsin.

Related Attorneys

Please wait while we gather your results.


Get practical insights on COVID-19 legal issues for your business.

Visit Resource Center

Media Contact 

If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Kyle Mondy, Marketing & Communications Manager, at 414.287.9481 or


Subscribe today to receive firm newsletters and blogs, client updates, seminar announcements, and more according to your preferences and areas of interest.


For more information on this topic, or to learn how Godfrey & Kahn can help, contact our COVID-19 Response Team.

Disclaimer and Legal Notices

Copyright © 2020 Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Attorneys at Law - All rights reserved.


Client Login