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292.23(3)(a) (a) Subsection (2) does not apply with respect to environmental pollution or a discharge of a hazardous substance caused by any of the following:
292.23(3)(a)1. 1. An action taken by the local governmental unit.
292.23(3)(a)2. 2. A failure of the local governmental unit to take appropriate action to restrict access to the property in order to minimize costs or damages that may result from unauthorized persons entering the property.
292.23(3)(a)3. 3. A failure of the local governmental unit to sample and analyze unidentified substances in containers stored aboveground on the property.
292.23(3)(a)4. 4. A failure of the local governmental unit to remove and properly dispose of, or to place in a different container and properly store, any hazardous substance stored aboveground on the property in a container that is leaking or is likely to leak.
292.23(3)(b) (b) Subsection (2) does not apply if, after considering the intended development and use of the property, the department determines that action is necessary to reduce to acceptable levels any substantial threat to public health or safety when the property is developed or put to that intended use, the department directs the local governmental unit to take that necessary action, and the local governmental unit does not take that action as directed.
292.23(3)(c) (c) Subsection (2) only applies if the local governmental unit agrees to allow the department, any authorized representatives of the department, any party that possessed or controlled a hazardous substance that was discharged or that caused environmental pollution or the discharge of a hazardous substance, and any consultant or contractor of such a party to enter the property to take action to respond to the environmental pollution or discharge.
292.23(3)(d) (d) Subsection (2) does not apply to property described in sub. (2) (f) unless the local governmental unit enters into an agreement with the department to ensure that the conditions in pars. (a) and (b) are satisfied.
292.23(3)(e) (e) Subsection (2) does not apply to any solid waste facility or waste site that was operated by the local governmental unit or was owned by the local governmental unit while it was operated.
292.23(3)(f) (f) Subsection (2) does not apply to a solid waste facility that was licensed under s. 144.44, 1993 stats., or s. 289.31.
292.23(3)(g) (g) Subsection (2) does not apply to property at which the local governmental unit disposed of waste that caused environmental pollution or a discharge of a hazardous substance at the property.
292.23(3)(h) (h) Subsection (2) does not apply to waste generated on the property by the local governmental unit, its agents, or its contractors.
292.23(3)(i) (i) Subsection (2) does not apply if the local governmental unit undertakes or authorizes construction on the property without the approval of the department or if the local government unit undertakes an activity that interferes with a closed solid waste facility or waste site and that causes a threat to public health, safety, or welfare.
292.23(3)(j) (j) Subsection (2) only applies to property with respect to which, before the local governmental unit acquired the property, the department imposed requirements related to health or safety for the maintenance of an active leachate or methane collection system, of a cap over waste on the property, or of a groundwater or gas monitoring system if the local governmental unit complies with those requirements.
292.23(3)(k) (k) Subsection (2) does not exempt a local governmental unit from land use restrictions required by the department, including those that are necessary to prevent damage to a cap over waste on the property or to otherwise prevent uses of the property that may cause a threat to public health or safety.
292.23 History History: 2005 a. 418; 2007 a. 96.
292.24 292.24 Responsibility of local governmental units; hazardous waste.
292.24(1)(1)Definition. In this section, “local governmental unit" has the meaning given in s. 292.11 (9) (e) 1.
292.24(2) (2)Exemption from liability. Except as provided in sub. (3), a local governmental unit is exempt from ss. 291.25 (1) to (5), 291.29 and 291.37, and rules promulgated under those provisions, with respect to the existence of a hazardous waste discharge on property acquired in a way or for a purpose described in s. 292.11 (9) (e) 1m., if all of the following occur at any time before or after the date of acquisition:
292.24(2)(a) (a) An environmental investigation of the property is conducted that is approved by the department and that identifies any hazardous waste discharges that occurred on the property.
292.24(2)(b) (b) The hazardous waste discharges identified by the investigation under par. (a) are cleaned up by restoring the environment to the extent practicable with respect to the discharges and minimizing the harmful effects from the discharges in accordance with rules promulgated by the department and any contract entered into under those rules.
292.24(2)(c) (c) The local governmental unit obtains an approval from the department stating that the property has been satisfactorily restored to the extent practicable with respect to the hazardous waste discharges and that the harmful effects from the discharges have been minimized.
292.24(2)(d) (d) The local governmental unit maintains and monitors the property as required under rules promulgated by the department and any contract entered into under those rules.
292.24(2)(e) (e) The local governmental unit does not engage in activities that are inconsistent with the maintenance of the property.
292.24(2)(f) (f) The local governmental unit has not obtained the certification under par. (c) by fraud or misrepresentation, by the knowing failure to disclose material information or under circumstances in which the local governmental unit knew or should have known about more discharges of hazardous waste than were revealed by the investigation conducted under par. (a).
292.24(2)(g) (g) The local governmental unit did not cause the discharge of any hazardous waste identified on the property.
292.24(3) (3)Applicability. Subsection (2) does not apply to any of the following:
292.24(3)(a) (a) A hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility that first begins operation after the date on which the local governmental unit acquired the property.
292.24(3)(b) (b) A licensed hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility operated on the property before the date on which the local governmental unit acquired the property and that is operated after the date on which the local governmental unit acquired the property.
292.24(3)(c) (c) Any hazardous waste disposal facility that has been issued a license under s. 144.441 (2), 1995 stats., or s. 289.41 (1m), or rules promulgated under those sections, for a period of long-term care following closure of the facility.
292.24 History History: 1999 a. 9.
292.25 292.25 Report on impact of exemptions from liability.
292.25(1)(1)The department shall biennially determine all of the following:
292.25(1)(a) (a) The number of sites for which a person is seeking to qualify for an exemption under s. 292.15.
292.25(1)(b) (b) The number of sites for which a certificate of completion was issued under s. 292.15.
292.25(1)(c) (c) The number of sites for which a certificate of completion was issued under s. 292.15 at which it is discovered that the cleanup failed or at which additional hazardous substances are found after the certificate of completion was issued.
292.25(1)(d) (d) The number of sites described in par. (b) at which the department has determined that it is necessary to conduct remedial action using moneys from the environmental fund and the estimated costs of performing that remedial action.
292.25(1)(e) (e) The number of sites for which a claim was made against an insurance policy required under s. 292.15 (2) (ae).
292.25(1)(f) (f) The number of sites for which a claim was made against an insurance policy required under s. 292.15 (2) (af).
292.25(2) (2)No later than September 15 of each even-numbered year, the department shall submit a report describing its determinations under sub. (1) to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2), to the governor and to the department of administration.
292.25(3) (3)The department may require a person to provide information necessary for the department to make the determinations under sub. (1).
292.25 History History: 1999 a. 9; 2015 a. 204.
292.255 292.255 Report on brownfield efforts. The department of natural resources, the department of administration, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation shall submit a report evaluating the effectiveness of this state's efforts to remedy the contamination of, and to redevelop, brownfields, as defined in s. 238.13 (1) (a).
292.255 History History: 1999 a. 9, 84; 2007 a. 20; 2011 a. 32.
292.26 292.26 Civil immunity; local governmental units.
292.26(1)(1)In this section, “local governmental unit" has the meaning given in s. 292.11 (9) (e) 1.
292.26(2) (2)Except as provided in sub. (3), a local governmental unit is immune from civil liability related to the discharge of a hazardous substance on or from property formerly owned or controlled by the local governmental unit if the property is no longer owned by the local governmental unit at the time that the discharge is discovered and if any of the following applies:
292.26(2)(a) (a) The local governmental unit acquired the property through tax delinquency proceedings or as the result of an order by a bankruptcy court.
292.26(2)(b) (b) The local governmental unit acquired the property from a local governmental unit that acquired the property under a method described in par. (a).
292.26(2)(c) (c) The local governmental unit acquired the property through condemnation or other proceeding under ch. 32.
292.26(2)(d) (d) The local governmental unit acquired the property for the purpose of slum clearance or blight elimination.
292.26(3) (3)Subsection (2) does not apply with respect to a discharge of a hazardous substance caused by an activity conducted by the local governmental unit while the local governmental unit owned or controlled the property.
292.26 History History: 1997 a. 27.
292.31 292.31 Environmental repair.
292.31(1)(1)Database; analysis.
292.31(1)(a)(a) Database.
292.31(1)(a)1.1. The department shall compile, maintain, and make available to the public a database of all sites or facilities and other properties at which the discharge of a hazardous substance or other environmental pollution has been reported to the department. The department shall update the database regularly.
292.31(1)(a)3. 3. The decision of the department to include a site or facility or other property on the database under subd. 1. or exclude a site or facility or other property from the database is not subject to judicial review.
292.31(1)(a)4. 4. Notwithstanding s. 227.01 (13) or 227.10 (1), the database under subd. 1. is not a rule.
292.31(1)(b) (b) Investigation; analysis.
292.31(1)(b)1.1. The department may take direct action under subd. 2. or 3. or may enter into a contract with any person to take the action.
292.31(1)(b)2. 2. The department may conduct an investigation, analysis and monitoring of a site or facility and areas surrounding the site or facility to determine the existence and extent of actual or potential environmental pollution from the site or facility including, but not limited to, monitoring by means of installing test wells or by testing water supplies. The department may conduct an investigation to identify persons who are potentially responsible for actual or potential environmental pollution from a site or facility. If the department conducts an investigation to identify persons who are potentially responsible for actual or potential environmental pollution from a site or facility, the department shall make a reasonable effort to identify as many persons as possible responsible for the environmental pollution.
292.31(1)(b)3. 3. The department may determine whether a site or facility presents a substantial danger to public health or welfare or the environment and evaluate the magnitude of the danger.
292.31(1)(d) (d) Access to information. Upon the request of any officer, employee or authorized representative of the department, any person who generated, transported, treated, stored or disposed of solid or hazardous waste which may have been disposed of at a site or facility under investigation by the department shall provide the officer, employee or authorized representative access to any records or documents in that person's custody, possession or control which relate to:
292.31(1)(d)1. 1. The type and quantity of waste generated, transported, treated or stored which was disposed of at the site or facility and the dates of these activities.
292.31(1)(d)2. 2. The identity of persons who generated, transported, treated or stored waste which was disposed of at the site or facility.
292.31(1)(d)3. 3. The identity of subsidiary or parent corporations, as defined in sub. (8) (a) 3., of persons who generated, transported, treated or stored waste which was disposed of at the site or facility.
292.31(2) (2)Environmental response rules. The department shall promulgate rules relating to investigation and remedial action for sites or facilities and other properties at which the air, land, or waters of the state have been affected by the discharge of a hazardous substance or other environmental pollution, including all of the following provisions:
292.31(2)(a) (a) Methods for investigating the degree and extent of contamination for actions under sub. (3).
292.31(2)(b) (b) Methods for remedial action under sub. (3).
292.31(2)(c) (c) Methods and criteria for determining the appropriate extent of remedial action under sub. (3).
292.31(2)(d) (d) Means of ensuring that the costs of remedial action are appropriate in relation to the associated benefits over the period of potential human exposure to substances released by the site or facility.
292.31(2)(e) (e) Appropriate roles and responsibilities under this section for federal, state and local governments and for interstate and nongovernmental entities.
292.31(3) (3)Environmental repair.
292.31(3)(b) (b) Department authority.
292.31(3)(b)1.1. The department may take direct action under subds. 2. to 9. or may enter into a contract with any person to take the action.
292.31(3)(b)2. 2. The department may take action to avert potential environmental pollution from the site or facility.
292.31(3)(b)3. 3. The department may repair the site or facility or isolate the waste.
292.31(3)(b)4. 4. The department may abate, terminate, remove and remedy the effect of environmental pollution from the site or facility.
292.31(3)(b)5. 5. The department may restore the environment to the extent practicable.
292.31(3)(b)6. 6. The department may establish a program of long-term care, as necessary, for a site or facility which is repaired or isolated.
292.31(3)(b)7. 7. The department may provide temporary or permanent replacements for private water supplies damaged by a site or facility. In this subdivision, “private water supply" means a well which is used as a source of water for humans, livestock, as defined in s. 95.80 (1) (b), or poultry.
292.31(3)(b)8. 8. The department may assess the potential health effects of the occurrence, not to exceed $10,000 per occurrence.
292.31(3)(b)9. 9. The department may take any other action not specified under subds. 2. to 8. consistent with this subsection in order to protect public health, safety or welfare or the environment.
292.31(3)(c) (c) Sequence of remedial action. In determining the sequence for taking remedial action under this subsection, the department shall consider the significance to public health, the community, and the environment of each site or facility, the amount of funds available, the information available about each site or facility, the willingness and ability of an owner, operator, or other responsible person to undertake or assist in remedial action, the availability of federal funds under 42 USC 9601, et seq., and other relevant factors. The department shall give the highest priority to remedial action at sites or facilities which have caused contamination of a municipal water system.
292.31(3)(d) (d) Emergency responses. Notwithstanding rules promulgated under this section or the considerations for taking action under par. (c), the department may take emergency action under this subsection and subs. (1) and (7) at a site or facility if delay will result in imminent risk to public health or safety or the environment. The department is not required to hold a hearing under par. (f) if emergency action is taken under this paragraph. The decision of the department to take emergency action is a final decision of the agency subject to judicial review under ch. 227.
292.31(3)(e) (e) Access to property. Any officer, employee or authorized representative of the department may enter onto any site or facility and areas surrounding the site or facility at reasonable times and upon notice to the owner or occupant to take action under this section. Notice to the owner or occupant is not required if the delay required to provide this notice is likely to result in an imminent risk to public health or welfare or the environment.
292.31(3)(f) (f) Notice; hearing. The department shall publish a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, shall publish the notice on its Internet website, and, upon request, shall provide the notice to interested members of the public, prior to taking remedial action under this subsection and subs. (1) and (7). The department's notice to interested members of the public may be given through an electronic notification system established by the department. The notice shall describe the proposed remedial action, the amount and purpose of any proposed expenditure, the name and address of the facility that is the subject of the proposed remedial action, a brief description of the proposed remedial action, and information indicating where more information regarding the proposed remedial action may be viewed on the department's Internet website. For the purpose of determining the date on which notice is provided under this paragraph, the date on which the department first publishes the notice on its Internet website shall be considered the date of notice. Except as provided under par. (d), the department shall provide a hearing to any person who demands a hearing within 30 days after the notice is published for the purpose of determining whether the proposed remedial action and any expenditure is within the scope of this section and is reasonable in relation to the cost of obtaining similar materials and services. The department is not required to conduct more than one hearing for the remedial action proposed at a single site or facility. Notwithstanding s. 227.42, the hearing shall not be conducted as a contested case. The decision of the department to take remedial action under this section is a final decision of the agency subject to judicial review under ch. 227.
292.31(4) (4)Monitoring costs at nonapproved facilities owned or operated by municipalities. Notwithstanding the environmental response rules under sub. (2) or the environmental repair authority, remedial action sequence, and emergency response requirements under sub. (3), the department shall pay that portion of the cost of any monitoring requirement which is to be paid under s. 289.31 (7) (f) from the appropriation under s. 20.370 (4) (dv) prior to making other payments from that appropriation.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)