Changes to the Enviro-Check program now in effect
On August 6, 2021, 2021 Wisconsin Act 78 made several changes to Wisconsin’s environmental compliance audit program’s (Enviro-Check) process. Program staff are working on updating the information to reflect these changes. In the meantime, please contact the program with any questions.
These changes will more closely align Wisconsin’s Enviro-Check program with US EPA’s audit programs. Key changes to the program as a result of Act 78 include:
- Changing the amount of time a regulated entity has to correct violations identified in an audit from 90 days to 60 days generally, 180 days if the entity is a small business stationary source, and 360 days if the entity is a small business stationary source and the corrective action involves a pollution prevention modification;
- Eliminating the requirement that an entity must notify the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) no fewer than 30 days before beginning an audit, while still requiring submission of a signed statement prior to beginning the audit acknowledging that violations known before the audit are not eligible for coverage; and
- Requiring the DNR and Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider whether the entity is a small business stationary source that has committed a minor violation when determining whether to pursue criminal action.
Any public or private facility can participate in Enviro-Check, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. To determine a facility's eligibility, the department considers their recent environmental performance history. Facilities with no Department of Justice environmental enforcement suits within the past two years are typically eligible to participate in Enviro-Check.
It is important that you understand your eligibility before beginning the audit to avoid surprises once the audit is complete. While not required, we highly recommend that facilities request that the DNR confirm they are eligible for the program before starting an audit. Otherwise, program staff will determine eligibility when the audit is complete, and an audit report is received.
If you would like the department to confirm your eligibility prior to the audit, email the request along with the signed statement acknowledging that violations known before the audit do not qualify for liability protections to DNREnviroCheck@wisconsin.gov and allow at least 30 days before starting the audit to allow the department to confirm eligibility and respond to your inquiry.