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Statewide Phosphorus Multi-Discharger Variance

The multi-discharger variance (MDV) for phosphorus extends the timeline for complying with low-level phosphorus limits. In exchange, point sources commit to step-wise reductions of phosphorus within their effluent as well as helping to address nonpoint sources of phosphorus from farm fields, cities or natural areas to implement projects designed to improve water quality. The MDV is similar to an individual variance. However, multiple point sources can be covered under the MDV, whereas an individual variance only applies to a single facility. This provides for administrative streamlining and maximizes the potential benefits watershed projects may have through the variance program. The MDV factsheet [PDF] provides general information regarding this program. The DNR's Program Policy for Implementing Wisconsin's Multi-Discharger Variance [PDF] provides details about eligibility and implementation requirements for this program.

Wisconsin's phosphorus MDV was approved by EPA on Feb. 6, 2017. The following documents were provided to the EPA to justify and provide the implementation strategy for the MDV.

Variance package submitted to EPA

Tier 1

Tier 2

EPA approval documents

Webinar recording

Learn about eligibility and process to achieve successful approval of a multi-discharge phosphorus variance.