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Notifying the DNR Air Program About Facility Closings

Closing a facility can be a complicated process. The information on this page will help you understand some of the obligations you will continue to have with respect to the DNR's Air Management Program, decisions you will need to make and the repercussions of those decisions.

Note: There is a different process for transferring ownership or other administrative changes for a property.


It is important to notify the Air Program when your facility has closed. Notifying the DNR ahead of time is not necessary. You should, however, notify the DNR on, or soon after, the date you close and cease operation because many timelines including billing, inspections and reporting obligations may be affected based on the date operation ceases.

The most efficient way to notify the DNR Air Program of closure is to notify your facility's designated compliance inspector and also send a letter directly to:

Operation Permit Processor, AM/7
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S Webster St
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707

Include the following information in the notification:

  • Closure date;
  • Date you ceased (or will cease) operating;
  • Intentions for the equipment and sources of emissions at the site (i.e., will they be physically removed, left in place, disconnected from power, sold and moved elsewhere, etc.); and
  • A contact for questions after the closure date.

Deciding to keep or revoke your air permits

Companies may decide to either revoke their permit or keep the permits active when they close. There are no statutes or administrative codes that require permits to be revoked when a facility closes. Existing permits remain in effect and stay with the facility even after it is closed or sold, unless the permits are formally revoked.

Keeping permits active

Some facilities continue to maintain the permits that have been issued to the facility so that they can use the valid, established permits as a selling point to prospective buyers. Some other facilities leave the permits active because they feel that there exists a possibility that they may re-open in the future.

Active permits require management by the facility (i.e., compliance certification submittals, etc.) and by the DNR. Therefore, facilities with active permits will continue to incur the annual environmental fee to support the Air Program in the management of those permits.

Revoking permits

Some facilities request revocation of all permits issued to the facility, so they can be assured of no lingering air permitting liabilities after closure. This is the recommended route if equipment is being scrapped or removed and sold. Revocation of air permits does not eliminate potential continuing liability for any on-site contamination or remediation obligations.

Once a permit is revoked, it cannot be reactivated. If the facility is sold or restarts, the entire permitting process must start over. This would include submitting a new construction permit application and incurring all the construction permitting fees. Under these circumstances there are certain regulations that would define the equipment as new based on the start date under new ownership. Being defined as new equipment may also trigger new requirements, depending on the type of equipment and applicable rules. Each scenario will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

There are no fees for revoking permits. Send a letter requesting that the department revoke all your air pollution control permits to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Air Program Permit Section, AM/7
101 S Webster St
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707

After closure

After closure, your Facility Identification (FID) number will be re-used for any facility that subsequently operates at that location, because the FID represents the location.

A facility will continue to be billed for any year in which it has an operation permit. Major sources will continue to be billed according to applicable regulations and applicable permits. Nonmajor sources can expect to continue to be billed for any year in which you have an active permit. For example, if your annual fee has always been $400, you close in 2014 and all your permits are revoked as of Sept. 14, 2015, you will receive one more $400 bill in the spring of 2016. Then, no fees will apply for any subsequent years.

Any facility that may want to resume operation without undergoing new construction permitting must maintain the existing permits, submit annual reports and continue to report air emissions annually through the air emissions inventory system.