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DNR review of rules affecting small bus grapples with Phase 2

The Department’s project to review existing regulations impacting small business, launched this past April, is in the midst of Phase 2, and a draft report detailing recommended changes to certain rules was recently posted on the DNR website. Public comments on the draft are due by December 5.

The Department-wide rules review is being conducted in accordance with Executive Order 61. Eileen Pierce, who until recently served as the Department’s Small Business Ombudsman, outlined the project’s status in late October.

The Phase 1 report was presented to the Natural Resources Board in June 2012 and to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board in August 2012. Public input was solicited through a web-based survey that ran in April and May of this year, according to Pierce. The Phase 1 report, which focused on identifying obsolete rules, recommended the repeal of 11 regulations and the modification of two others.

Phase 2 of the project took a deeper look at all 3,700-plus pages of DNR’s administrative rules. As a result, its recommendations differ to some extent from the Phase 1 report. For example, the draft Phase 2 report recommends 13 rule modifications (compared to two in the Phase 1 report), and also recommends the repeal of 9 rules that were not originally identified for repeal in the Phase 1 report.

An internal review of the draft Phase 2 report by each Division was scheduled for early November, and the public comment period will include an outreach effort to stakeholders. A copy of the draft report is available by searching the DNR website for “rules review” and then clicking on the link “retrospective review of rules affecting small business.” Comments may be submitted electronically to DNRCleanAir@Wisconsin.gov.

Following the public comment period, a final Phase 2 report will be presented to the Natural Resources Board in February 2013, and to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board in March. The ordinary rulemaking process will be required to implement changes to the regulations.

 

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