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Wisconsin Construction Stormwater Permit (6-WI-b)

In Wisconsin, a developer may need to obtain a Construction Stormwater General Permit (Permit) from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR) for construction projects that disturb one or more acres of land or are part of a common plan of development or sale that will disturb one or more acres of land. A developer needs a Permit to remain in compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Wisconsin DNR implements the state’s Construction Stormwater Discharge Program in Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216, pursuant to the authority provided in Wis. Stat. §281.33.



Construction Stormwater Permit Process

6-WI-b.1 — Erosion Control Plan and Stormwater Management Plan

The developer must develop and finalize an Erosion Control Plan and a Stormwater Management Plan for the project. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.46(3); Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.47.

The Stormwater Management Plan must include a description of the Best Management Practices that the developer will install during the construction process to meet the state’s performance standards for controlling the total suspended solids and peak flow, enhancing infiltration, maintaining or restoring protective areas, and to reducing petroleum in stormwater runoff that will occur after the construction is complete. Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 151.10 et seq., Non-Agricultural Performance Standards; Wisconsin DNR Construction Stormwater General Permit.

The Erosion Control Plan must, at minimum, include:

  • A description of the construction site and the nature of the land disturbing construction activity, including representation of the limits of land disturbance on a USGS 7.5-minute series topographical map;
  • A description of the intended sequence of major land disturbing construction activities for major portions of the construction site, such as grubbing, excavation or grading;
  • Estimates of the total area of the construction site and the total area of the construction site that the project is expected to disturb by land disturbing construction activities;
  • Available data describing the surface soil as well as subsoils;
  • Wherever permanent infiltration devices will be employed or were evaluated, the depth to the nearest seasonal high groundwater elevation or top of bedrock shall be identified as outlined in Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.47(3); and
  • The name(s) of the immediate receiving water(s).

Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.46(4).


6-WI-b.2 – Water Resources Application for Projects Permits and Notice of Intent (NOI)

The developer must complete and submit a Water Resources Application for Projects Permits (Application) to Wisconsin DNR. The Application serves as the developer’s NOI for obtaining a Permit. The developer must submit the Application online on Wisconsin DNR’s ePermits Website, or request Wisconsin DNR’s permission to submit the Application in hard copy form. Wisconsin DNR Construction Stormwater General Permit. Wisconsin DNR provides Instructions on how to submit an Application online. The Application must be submitted at least fourteen (14) working days before the start of any land disturbing activities. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.44(1).

The developer must submit the Erosion Control Plan or Stormwater Management Plan as attachments to the online Application. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.44(2). The developer must also submit the appropriate fee with the Application. If the project will disturb less than five (5) acres of land, the fee is $140. If the project will disturb between five (5) and twenty-five (25) acres of land, the fee is $235. If the project will disturb twenty-five (25) or more acres of land, the fee is $350. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.43(2).

6-WI-b.3 to 6-WI-b.4 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After receiving the developer’s Application, Wisconsin DNR reviews the Application for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application is incomplete, Wisconsin DNR requests additional information from the developer within fourteen (14) days of receiving the Application. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.45(1).

6-WI-b.5 to 6-WI-b.7 – Review Application for Approval

Wisconsin DNR reviews the Application and all relevant information, and determines whether to authorize the project under the General Permit. Wisconsin DNR notifies the developer of the decision in writing. Under certain conditions, the Wisconsin DNR may determine that the developer must obtain an Individual Construction Stormwater Permit instead of a General Permit. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.415(3)(b).

6-WI-b.8 – Construction Stormwater General Permit

Unless notified otherwise by Wisconsin DNR, the developer’s coverage under the Permit begins fourteen (14) days after Wisconsin DNR receives the complete Application. The Permit is effective for three (3) years. After three (3) years, the developer must submit another Application for a Permit renewal. Wisconsin DNR Construction Stormwater General Permit. The Permit is subject to several general terms and conditions that the developer must follow, or risk revocation of the Permit.

6-WI-b.9 – Notice of Termination

The developer must submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) to Wisconsin DNR within forty-five (45) days after the following conditions occur:

  1. The construction site has undergone final stabilization;
  2. Temporary erosion control best management practices have been removed; and
  3. All stormwater discharges associated with the Permit have ceased.

Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.55(1).

The NOT must include the following information:

  • The mailing address and location of the construction site;
  • The name, mailing address and telephone number of the developer, as well as any transferee;
  • The name, mailing address and telephone number of the general contractor; and
  • The following signed certification:

“I certify under penalty of law that disturbed soils at the identified site have undergone final stabilization and temporary erosion and sediment control measures have been removed or that all stormwater discharges associated with construction activity that are authorized by a general WPDES permit have otherwise been eliminated. I understand that by submitting this notice of termination, I am no longer authorized to discharge stormwater associated with construction activity by the general WPDES permit, and that discharging pollutants in stormwater associated with construction activity to waters of Wisconsin is unlawful where the discharge is not authorized by a general WPDES permit.”

Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.55(4).

Once Wisconsin DNR receives and approves the NOT, Wisconsin DNR sends written confirmation to the developer that coverage is terminated. The developer’s coverage and obligations under the Permit is terminated once the developer receives the written confirmation from Wisconsin DNR. Wis. Admin. Code §NR 216.55(5).


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Contact Information









Edit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Storm Water Program Coordinator (608) 264-8971 jimabbazabbabertolacini@wisconsinabbazabbagov