General Industrial activities Storm Water Permit

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Industrial site with exposure.
Photo by Gerry Jarmuz

Contact information For information on this page, contact: Jim Bertolacini
Storm Water Program Coordinator

Learn more about the different types of industrial storm water permits and requirements.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 industrial facilities

Natural Resources Chapter 216, Wis. Adm. Code, (NR 216) lists certain types of industries in the state that need to obtain storm water discharge permits from the Department of Natural Resources. Permits are issued under a tiered system that groups industries by type and by how likely they are to contaminate storm water. NR 216 lists industries by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. See NR 216 [PDF] for complete information on listings of industrial activities by SIC and tier. Here is a brief summary of how industries are classified by Tier:

  • Tier 1 permits cover various “heavy” manufacturers such as paper manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining, ship building/repair, and bulk storage of coal, minerals and ores.
  • Tier 2 includes “light” industries that engage in activities that may contaminate storm water or have materials exposed to storm water. The potential for storm water exposure to industrial materials at these sites, while still a concern, is less than at Tier 1 sites. The Tier 2 group includes:
  • Facilities engaged in food processing, furniture manufacturing, paper products, or electronics.
  • Non-metallic mineral mining (e.g., sand, gravel, rock, and other aggregate).
  • Transportation facilities with vehicle maintenance areas, and other industrial activities listed in NR 216.
  • No-exposure exclusion

  • facilities formerly automatically designated as Tier 3 per s. NR 216.21(2)(b) [PDF]; and
  • aTier 1 or Tier 2 facility that has no outdoor storage of materials or waste products and that meets all the requirements of the “No Exposure” classification.
  • See EPA guidelines for Conditional No Exposure Exclusion [exit DNR]. The no exposure exclusion is determined on a case-by-case basis at industrial sites where storm water is not contaminated by industrial activity.

    To request the no exposure exclusion, an appropriate representative of the facility must file a request on the DNR No Exposure Certification Form # 3400-188 [PDF].

    An industry facility granted no exposure status is required to reapply for no exposure every five years to re-certify the facility’s no exposure status.


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