University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Environmental Protection Act (WEPA)

The Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), sec. 1.11, Wisconsin Statutes, was created by Chapter 274, Laws of 1971 and became effective on April 29, 1972. It is closely patterned after the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which was effective January 1, 1970. WEPA requires that all state agencies prepare environmental impact statements (EIS) with every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major activities “significantly affecting the human environment.”

In addition, WEPA requires state agencies to study, develop and describe alternatives when a particular course of action involves unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources. In accordance with WEPA and the regulations of the Federal Council on Environmental Quality, the UW System has developed an Action Type List to assist in determining the need for an environmental impact statement. The three classifications

  • WEPA Type I: Actions which require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
  • WEPA Type II: Actions which may or may not require an EIS but must be evaluated by completing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
  • WEPA Type III: Actions which do not require an EIS or EIA.

Campus WEPA Coordination & Project Documents

UW-Madison’s WEPA Coordinator responsibilities include:

  • In consultation with the UW System Environmental Affairs Officer, identify the type of WEPA action required.
  • Draft the request for Type I or Type II consultant services.
  • For Type I and Type II actions, manage the university responsibilities including:
    • Point of contact for consultants
    • Attending kick-off meeting
    • Mailing list identification
    • Represent the university at scheduled public hearings
    • Review the scope, draft, and final documents
    • Respond to comments
    • Make a Record of Decision
  • For Type II actions, completing the Evaluation of Environmental Significance form.

Current and active project list