MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources board has finally adopted federal air pollution standards after four years and a legal settlement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published new limits on fine particulate matter in January 2013. Wisconsin law requires the DNR to adopt rules matching EPA standards to ensure state permits meet federal requirements but the Republican-controlled agency didn’t do it, prompting a lawsuit from two environmental groups in 2014.
A settlement last year called for DNR match the standards by March 2017. The DNR’s board adopted them unanimously during a meeting Wednesday.
DNR officials say the rules took so long because the agency had to analyze their economic impact. They say all areas of the state have met the federal standards since they were imposed.