Gov. Doyle: Announces Air Management Program Improvements

Contacts: Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
EPA Recognizes Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Achievements in Permitting and Streamlining

Governor Doyle announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency has officially recognized changes and improvements to the
Department of Natural Resources Air Management operating permit program
that resolve a Notice of Deficiency EPA issued to the program in March,

“This is another positive step in creating a business-friendly
regulatory climate in Wisconsin, as I outlined in my Grow Wisconsin
initiative,” Governor Doyle said.  “We’ve implemented real and
meaningful regulatory reform here in Wisconsin without threatening our
natural resources or restricting public input, and in doing so, we’re
going to continue growing our economy.”

The EPA Notice pointed out several deficiencies, such as permitting
backlogs, in the air program. When Governor Doyle took office in
January 2003, he made it a goal to eliminate the permit backlog at the
DNR’s Bureau of Air Management by December 31, 2004 – a full year
earlier than what was predicted by the previous administration. 
By January 2004, the backlog had been reduced to 148, and by December
30, 2004, the final remaining permit was issued.  Additionally,
the time frame for water permits – which used to take 110 days – was
reduced to 30 days at the latest.

The Notice required that the DNR resolve deficiencies in four areas of
its air permit program.  The most visible entailed a goal of
eliminating significant backlogs of Title V Air Operating Permits and
Federally Enforceable State Operating Permits (FESOPs) by the end of
2005.  In early 2004, there was a backlog of 148 pending Title V
operating permits and 159 FESOPs.  By the end of 2004, the backlog
of Title V permits had been eliminated, a year ahead of the goal set by
the Air Management program, and the backlog of FESOPs was eliminated by
mid-January 2006.

The backlog included permits for many of Wisconsin’s biggest employers
including SC Johnson, Daimler-Chrysler’s engine plant, Murphy Oil, and
other manufacturing facilities.

“With operation permits in hand, these companies can better plan to
grow and compete in Wisconsin,” DNR Secretary Scott Hassett said.

He noted that Stratec, which just received a Governor’s Environmental
Excellence award, can explore innovative solutions to minimize waste
and prevent pollution, which, in turn, will reduce their operating
costs and increase profit margins and business stability.

“The resolution to the Notice included changes made in the biennial
budget, legislation and DNR rules,” said Hassett.  “Our DNR staff
worked closely with representatives from EPA Region 5 over 18 months to
resolve the deficiencies and we are pleased with the goals we’ve

The Governor’s leadership on addressing the Notice of Deficiency issues
also spurred improvements in other air permit-related actions such as
issuing all construction permits within statutory timeframes, providing
certainty in the timing of permitting and allowing companies to plan
for expansion or improvement.  Under the new permitting system,
important economic projects such as a new paper machine at Procter and
Gamble, process line modifications at SC Johnson, and the creation of a
new product line at Badger State Ethanol were able to move forward in a
timely manner.