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Enviro-Check Updates: 

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.

Enviro-Check Process

There are four simple steps to participate in the Enviro-Check program:

Step 1 — Sign Statement

Step 1 — Sign Statement

Before beginning the audit, send a signed statement to acknowledging that violations discovered prior to the audit do not qualify for liability protections under the program.

Note: Make sure you understand the eligibility requirements before beginning the audit. If you would like DNR to confirm your facility's eligibility before starting an audit, please provide a request to DNR at least 30 days prior to beginning the audit. Staff will make a determination and let you know if you are eligible within that 30 days. See the Verify Eligibility page for more information.

Step 2 — Conduct audit

Step 2 — Conduct audit

Conduct an environmental compliance audit within 365 days of submitting the signed statement acknowledging that violations known prior to conducting the audit do not qualify for liability protections.

Facilities must hire a third-party auditor to conduct the compliance audit, or contact the department to propose an alternative independent auditor.

Step 3 — Submit report

Step 3 — Submit report

Submit a final audit report to that identifies any violations and includes a corrective action plan for each.

  • Participants must submit the final audit report to the department within 45 days of completion.
  • Once the department receives the report, a facility has 60 days (or 180 days if the facility qualifies as a small business stationary source) to complete corrections or request an extension of up to one year. (See step #4 for more information on how to request an extension).
  • Participants are required to provide all information contained in the audit report template, Form 4800-023, but they can choose to use an alternative format that includes the following information:
    • A description of each violation and length of time it may have existed;
    • A description of the actions taken or proposed to be taken to correct the violations;
    • Date(s) of corrective action(s) or schedule for proposed correction action(s); and
    • Proposed strategies to prevent future violations.
  • Unless the facility requested prior eligibility confirmation, the department will verify that the facility is eligible for Enviro-Check based on their enforcement record once the report is submitted.

Step 4 — Corrective actions

Step 4 — Corrective actions

Correct any violations within 60 days of submitting your report or request an extension of up to one year. If your facility qualifies as a small business stationary source, you may take up to 180 days to complete the corrective actions or request an extension. If the corrective action involves a pollution prevention modification, a small business stationary source may take up to 360 days to make the correction without requesting an extension.

  • The department will review your corrective action plans in the final audit report. Program staff may request additional information or revisions to the proposed corrective action plans if needed.
  • You can request an extension of up to one year to complete corrective actions if adequate justification is provided.

Corrective action extension process

  • Corrective actions that exceed the 60-day, 180-day, or 360-day thresholds require DNR approval. To request an extension, include the following information in the audit report:
    • Proposed compliance schedule for correcting violations;
    • Justification of the proposed compliance schedule;
    • Proposed penalties your facility agrees to pay if extended compliance schedule is exceeded; and
    • Description of measures taken to minimize the impacts of the violations during the extension period.
  • Compliance schedules cannot exceed one year, and limited liability protections will not extend more than six months beyond the end of the extended schedule.
    • If a you do not meet your compliance schedule, the DNR will collect the penalties.
    • Uncorrected violations are subject to regular stepped enforcement processes, including possible referral for civil action to collect additional fines.

When the department and the participant agree on the extended compliance schedule, the department will provide a letter of approval.