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Statewide phosphorus multi-discharger variance

If a point source meets the eligibility requirements and requests the multi-discharger variance (MDV) for phosphorus, their Wisconsin Pollution Elimination Discharge System (WPDES) permit will, upon approval, be modified or reissued with the following requirements.

  1. Reductions of effluent phosphorus: Point sources are required to reduce their phosphorus load each permit term of MDV coverage.
  2. Implement a watershed project: Point sources must implement one of the following watershed project options to help reduce nonpoint source of phosphorus pollution.
    • Implement a watershed project directly: Applicant should complete the Watershed plan checklist [PDF] and submit this form with the MDV application.
    • Work with a third party to implement a watershed project: Applicant should complete the Watershed plan checklist [PDF] and submit this form with the MDV application.
    • Make payments to county LCDs.

The approval determination must be re-evaluated each permit reissuance of the MDV project timeline. An applicant may be covered under the MDV for up to three permit terms after which the permittee will need to comply with the phosphorus limit through an alternative compliance option.

5-Year Highest Attainable Condition Review

In 2022, the Department completed a review of the first 5-year implementation period of the MDV, as required under s. 283.16(3m), Wis. Stats. The purpose of the review is to evaluate pollution reductions achieved by the MDV and determine whether they are consistent with highest attainable condition requirements found in federal code at 40 CFR 131.14. The evaluation includes a summary of all facilities covered under the MDV, interim effluent limitations assigned to those facilities, and nonpoint source phosphorus reductions funded by the MDV.