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Sewerage Comm'n of Milwaukee v. Wisconsin Dep't of Natural Resources

Citation: 11 ELR 20043
No. No. 79-884, 297 N.W.2d 40/98 Wis. 2d 464, (Wis. Ct. App., 08/12/1980)

The court rules that the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properly issued two national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits requiring compliance with federal and state secondary sewage treatment requirements prior to the July 1, 1977 deadline established by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). The FWPCA directed states to administer water pollution control programs consistent with the federal pollution control program. The state statute, in accordance with the FWPCA, requires compliance with effluent limitations "by" July 1, 1977. The DNR interpreted the statute to allow it to require compliance prior to July 1, 1977. The court agrees, finding that this interpretation furthers the objectives of the FWPCA to eliminate pollution. The FWPCA does not establish a right to pollute until July 1, 1977 but rather allows the state to set discharge limits based on the technological limitations of the treatment facility.

Counsel for Appellant
Steven B. Wickland, Ass't Attorney General; Bronson C. La Follette, Attorney General
Department of Justice, State Capitol, Madison WI 53702
(608) 266-1221

Counsel for Respondent
James H. Petersen, Sr., Staff Attorney; Michael J. McCabe, Director of Legal Services
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
735 N. Water St., Milwaukee WI 53202
(414) 278-3958

Before DONLIN, P.J., and DEAN and FOLEY, JJ.