Lakes Michigan and Superior and the Mississippi river;
State and federal designated wild and scenic rivers, designated state riverways and state designated scenic urban waterways, s. 30.26
, Stats., ch. NR 302
, 16 USC 1271 to 1287
, ss. 30.40
, Stats., and s. 30.275
Unique and significant wetlands identified in special area management plans (SAMP), special wetland inventory studies (SWIS), advanced delineation and identification studies (ADID) and areas designated by the United States environmental protection agency under section 404 (c), 33 USC 1344
Habitat used by state or federally designated threatened or endangered species, s. 29.604
, Stats., ch. NR 27
and 16 USC 1531
State parks, forests, trails and recreation areas;
State and federal fish and wildlife refuges and fish and wildlife management areas;
Any other surface waters identified as outstanding or exceptional resource waters in ch. NR 102
NR 103.04 History
Cr. Register, July, 1991, No. 427
, eff. 8-1-91; CR 00-164
: am. (4) and (11), Register January 2002 No. 553
, eff. 2-1-02;
corrections in (1) and (6) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register March 2005 No. 591
The purpose of this subchapter is to establish implementation procedures for application of the wetland water quality standards contained in subch. I
Whenever the procedures of this subchapter are applicable to an activity, they shall supersede the regulatory provisions of s. NR 1.95 (5)
NR 103.05 Note
Note: NR 1.95 (5) was repealed eff. 8-1-01.
NR 103.05 Note
Note: Effective July 1, 2012, 2011 Wis. Act 118, sections 119 to 141, repealed, revised, and renumbered various parts of s. 281.37.
The provisions of this chapter shall, subject to the provisions below, apply to all department regulatory, planning, resource management, liaison and financial aid determinations that affect wetlands. This chapter shall only apply to specific activities which may require authorization or reauthorization after August 1, 1991 and which are subject to the requirements of statute or rules requiring a department determination concerning effects on water quality or wetlands.
Activities subject to the requirements of this chapter include, but are not limited to:
In addition to the requirements of s. NR 207.03 (5)
, this chapter shall apply to new or increased point source discharges to wetlands.
Wetland alterations which are directly caused by operations on a nonferrous metallic mineral prospecting site or mining site shall be regulated pursuant to specific wetland standards under chs. NR 131
A person who proposes a project that may affect an artificial wetland shall notify the department at least 15 working days prior to initiating the project. For purposes of this chapter, the following artificial wetlands are exempt from the provisions of this chapter unless the department notifies the applicant within 15 working days from when the department receives notice of the proposed project from the applicant that the artificial wetland has significant functional values or uses under s. NR 103.03 (1) (e)
Sedimentation and stormwater detention basins and associated conveyance features operated and maintained only for sediment detention and flood storage purposes;
Active sewage lagoons, cooling ponds, waste disposal pits, fish rearing ponds and landscape ponds.
Actively maintained farm drainage and roadside ditches.
Artificial wetlands within active nonmetallic mining operations.
Wetland alterations which are directly caused by a ferrous metallic mining operation or bulk sampling shall be regulated pursuant to specific wetland standards under s. 295.60
NR 103.06 Note
This chapter does not apply to activities which are exempted from state and federal regulations. Examples include certain silvicultural and agricultural activities exempted under ch. 30
, Stats., and s. 404 of the Clean Water Act (33) USC 1344. This chapter is not applicable to local zoning decisions.
NR 103.06 History
Cr. Register, July, 1991, No. 427
, eff. 8-1-91; cr. (4), Register, May, 1998, No. 509
, eff. 6-1-98; CR 13-057: am. (3), cr. (4m) Register July 2015 No. 715, eff. 8-1-15.
As used in this subchapter:
“Expansion activities of existing cranberry operations" means expansions of existing cranberry beds, “squaring-off" of existing cranberry beds, construction of new cranberry beds adjacent to existing beds, rehabilitation of abandoned beds, construction of dikes for subdivision of an existing reservoir, and the construction or extension of dikes for reservoir expansion.
“Mitigation project" means the restoration, enhancement or creation of wetlands to compensate for adverse impacts to other wetlands. “Mitigation project" includes using credits from a wetland mitigation bank.
“Practicable alternatives" means available and capable of being implemented after taking into consideration cost, available technology and logistics in light of overall project purposes.
“Water dependency" or “wetland dependency" means the activity is of a nature that requires location in or adjacent to surface waters or wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose.
“Wetland mitigation bank" means a system of accounting for wetland loss and compensation that includes one or more sites where wetlands are restored, enhanced or created to provide transferable credits to be subsequently applied to compensate for adverse impacts to other wetlands.
NR 103.07 History
Cr. Register, July, 1991, No. 427
, eff. 8-1-91; cr. (1) and renum. (1) and (2) to be (2) and (3), Register, May, 1998, No. 509
, eff. 6-1-98; CR 00-164
: cr. (1m), (4), and (5), Register January 2002 No. 553
, eff. 2-1-02.
Department determinations. NR 103.08(1)
The department shall review all proposed activities subject to this chapter and shall determine whether the project proponent has shown, based on the factors in sub. (3)
, if the activities are in conformance with the provisions of this chapter. The department shall, upon request, meet with a project proponent and other interested persons to make a preliminary assessment of the scope for an analysis of alternatives and the potential for compliance with this chapter.
For the purposes of reviewing an application under this chapter, the department may require submission of information consistent with s. NR 299.03 (1)
The department shall review the application for completeness within 30 days of receipt of the application. The department shall notify the applicant of any additional information reasonably necessary to review the application. An application may not be considered complete until the requirements of the Wisconsin environmental policy act, s. 1.11
, Stats., have been met.
The applicant shall submit, at any time during the review process, additional information which the department finds to be reasonably necessary for review of the application.
The department shall protect as confidential any information, other than effluent data, submitted under this chapter which meets the requirements of s. 283.55 (2)
, Stats., and under s. NR 2.19
For all activities that meet the criteria listed in sub. (4) (c) 3.
and that do not require authorization under ch. 30, Stats.
, the department shall make a decision on an application within 60 working days of receipt of a complete application from the project proponent.
The 60 working day limit does not apply if the department determines that weather conditions prevent the department from making a decision in that time frame.
The department may rely upon wetland boundary determinations made by other agencies and consultants. If there is a dispute concerning a wetland boundary delineation, the review of the delineation shall be consistent with the procedures identified in the “Basic Guide to Wisconsin's Wetlands and Their Boundaries" (Wisconsin Department of Administration PUBL-WZ-029-94) as determined by the department.
NR 103.08 Note
Note: This guide is based upon the “Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, 1987" and Final Regional Supplements. Copies of “Basic Guide to Wisconsin's Wetlands and Their Boundaries" may be obtained from Wisconsin Department of Administration, Document Sales Unit, 4622 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2156.
Wetland functional values and the impact of a proposed activity upon those functional values shall be determined using wetland ecological evaluation methods accepted by the department and appropriate to the affected wetland. The department shall consider available land use studies in its determinations.
To protect all present and prospective future uses of wetlands, the following factors shall be considered by the department in making determinations under this section:
Practicable alternatives to the proposal which will avoid and minimize adverse impacts to wetlands and will not result in other significant adverse environmental consequences;
Impacts which may result from the activity on the maintenance, protection, restoration or enhancement of standards under s. NR 103.03
Cumulative impacts attributable to the proposed activity which may occur, based upon past or reasonably anticipated impacts on wetland functional values of similar activities in the affected area;
Potential secondary impacts on wetland functional values from the proposed activity; and
Any potential adverse impacts to wetlands in areas of special natural resource interest as listed in s. NR 103.04
Any potential adverse impact to wetlands in environmentally sensitive areas and environmental corridors identified in areawide water quality management plans.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, the department shall make a finding that the requirements of this chapter are satisfied if it determines that the project proponent has shown all of the following:
No practicable alternative exists which would avoid adverse impacts to wetlands.
If subd. 1.
is met, all practicable measures to minimize adverse impacts to the functional values of the affected wetlands have been taken.
If subds. 1.
are met, utilizing the factors in sub. (3) (b)
and considering potential wetland functional values provided by any mitigation project that is part of the subject application, that the activity will not result in significant adverse impacts to wetland functional values, significant adverse impacts to water quality or other significant adverse environmental consequences.
For all activities that will adversely affect a wetland in an area of special natural resource interest as listed in s. NR 103.04
or that will adversely affect an area of special natural resource interest, the department may not consider potential functional values provided by any mitigation project that is part of the subject application.
For all activities which meet one or more of subd. 1.
, the department, utilizing the factors in sub. (3)
and considering potential wetland functional values provided by any mitigation project that is part of the subject application, shall make a finding that the requirements of this chapter are satisfied if it determines that the project proponent has shown that the activity will not result in significant adverse impacts to wetland functional values, significant adverse impacts to water quality or other significant adverse environmental consequences. The department may limit the scope of the analysis of alternatives under sub. (3) (b)
, as determined at the preliminary assessment meeting under sub. (1)
All wetlands that may be affected by an activity are less than one acre in size, located outside a 100-year floodplain, and not any of the following types:
Wet prairie not dominated by reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea
) to the exclusion of a significant population of native species.
Sedge meadow or fresh wet meadow not dominated by reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea
) to the exclusion of a significant population of native species and located south of highway 10.
For cranberry operations, the department, utilizing the factors in sub. (3) (b)
, shall make a finding that the requirements of this chapter are satisfied if it determines that the project proponent has shown that the activity will not result in significant adverse impacts to wetland functional values, significant adverse impacts to water quality or other significant adverse environmental consequences. For the purposes of determining whether there is a practicable alternative to a proposed expansion of an existing cranberry operation, the analysis shall be limited to alternatives within the boundaries of the property where the existing cranberry operation is located and on property immediately adjacent to the existing cranberry operation. For new cranberry operations, a practicable alternatives analysis shall be conducted which includes off-site alternatives.
Mitigation projects and the use of wetland mitigation banks shall be carried out in accordance with ch. NR 350
and any memorandum of agreement between the department and the United States army corps of engineers that establishes guidelines for mitigation projects and wetland mitigation banks.
NR 103.08 Note
Note: Examples of wetland ecological evaluation methods include, but are not limited to, “Wetland Evaluation Technique" (FHWA/COE), “Wisconsin Wetland Evaluation Methodology", “Hollands-Magee" (IEP/Normandeau), “Minnesota Wetland Evaluation Methodology for the North Central United States" and the “Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Rapid Assessment Method".
NR 103.08 Note
Note: Examples of available land use studies include Special Area Management Plans (SAMP), Special Wetland Inventory Studies (SWIS) and Advanced Delineation and Identification Studies (ADID).