Author: Zachary Teicher

Ready for Reuse Assistance Available for Brownfields Cleanup

Funds from the Ready for Reuse program are used for environmental cleanup of hazardous substances or petroleum at brownfields throughout Wisconsin. Funds are available in the form of zero-interest loans with flexible payback options and grants in limited circumstances. As the name implies, Ready for Reuse dollars can only be used on sites that are ready to begin cleanup activities and have adequate funding in place to finish the cleanup.

There are some specific requirements related to Ready for Reuse dollars. It’s strongly recommended that you speak with program administrator Gena Larson to learn if your project qualifies for funding before beginning to work on your application.

For more information about Ready for Reuse, including eligibility requirements:

Public Input Opportunity on Soil RCLs for PAHs

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program seeks your input on a new guidance document titled Calculating Soil RCLs for PAHs Wis. Admin Code § NR 722.11 (1) (RR-079).

This guidance document introduces the modified residual contaminant level (RCL) spreadsheet that allows for an alternative method of calculating non-industrial direct contact RCLs for seven carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs). The modifications are based on a reassessment of the risk posed by cPAHs by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The modified spreadsheet assesses these cPAHs exclusively on cumulative risk and does not assess their individual compound-specific risk. Use of this spreadsheet complies with the requirements of Wis. Admin. § NR 722.11 for developing alternate standards when meeting the RCLs in Wis. Admin. § NR 720 is not practicable.

The comment period will be open through May 31, 2017. This document can be reviewed on the Department’s public input web page, and comments can be submitted to Paul Grittner.

Jumpstart Redevelopment with Wisconsin Assessment Monies

The Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program helps address brownfields sites throughout the state where closed or closing industrial plants are acting as impediments to economic redevelopment. The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides assistance by offering contractor services for completion of Phase I and II environmental assessments and limited site investigation. This program helps jump-start the process of turning properties around and getting them ready for new uses. Minimal project administration is required by the recipient and there are no matching funds required.

Clip Art of a Building

WAM is made available by a grant from the U.S. EPA at the request of the DNR and Wisconsin’s Regional Planning Commissions (jointly, the Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition).

Sites assisted by WAM are generally less than 10 acres and have petroleum or hazardous substance contamination that can be assessed for less than $35,000.  Applications for WAM services are accepted on an ongoing basis.

For more information about WAM, including eligibility requirements:

Email Tom at Thomas.Coogan@Wisconsin.gov

New Tools Available for Vapor Intrusion Professionals

The RR Program recently added four, new online tools to our vapor intrusion (VI) prevention web page to assist environmental professionals as they prepare VI assessments or plan for outreach on a site impacted by vapor intrusion.

Three of these tools are located on the Vapor Intrusion for Environmental Professionals website, under the “community outreach” tab, and include:

  1. Vapor Intrusion 101 video uses a hand drawn animation technique to introduce the concept of vapor intrusion. It is intended for use in conjunction with factsheets and personal communication when talking with a property owner who is unfamiliar with vapor intrusion.
  2. The Responsible Neighbor – A Vapor Intrusion Story video shares an important message for consultants, attorneys, and RPs on how good communication with neighbors benefits everyone involved with an environmental cleanup.
  3. RR-067: Vapor Intrusion Investigation – Information Sheet for Neighbors can be given to an off-site property owner when access is needed to investigate vapor intrusion on their property. This factsheet provides an introduction to environmental investigations, identifies the parties involved, and clarifies who the property owner can contact with questions.

The fourth new tool is on the same web page, under the “screening levels” tab:

  1. Quick Look-Up Table for VALs and VRSL Wisconsin’s Vapor Action Levels (VALs) and Vapor Risk Screening Levels (VRSLs) have changed over time due to updates to EPA’s risk calculations and changes in default attenuation factors. History of Changes to VALs, VRSLs and Attenuation Factors for Common VOCs is a quick reference to the historical screening levels and the dates when changes occurred, and is intended to clarify the basis for past decisions at a site.

Questions about these new tools or other issues related to vapor intrusion can be directed to Alyssa Sellwood, the RR Program’s VI specialist.

 

 

Wisconsin’s Remediation and Redevelopment Database

RR Sites Map Mobile Device

RR Sites Map is accessible via desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program in the DNR oversees the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination and the redevelopment of affected properties in Wisconsin. The RR Program also maintains a public database that contains information about known hazardous substance discharges to the environment, investigations, cleanup activities, closure requests, remaining actions needed, spills requiring emergency attention and more. This public database is called the Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) on the Web (BOTW).

BOTW is augmented by an associated GIS mapping application, called RR Sites Map, which provides a visual representation of data available in BOTW. This interactive map allows users to geographically search for open and closed sites, obtain basic information about a site, click on a link that goes directly to full site information, and more. RR Sites Map is accessible via desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

Together, BOTW and RR Sites Map are collectively referred to as the Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Database (WRRD). These two public tools provide easy online access to detailed information about conditions and environmental activities at tens-of-thousands of cleanup sites around the state. This database was formerly referred to as CLEAN, the Contaminated Lands Environmental Action Network.

Green Team Assistance for Local Governments

Green Team Meeting

The DNR’s “Green Team” meetings bring important parties together to discuss issues, answer key questions and give everyone a better understanding of the project.

Contaminated land often raises liability concerns, technical issues and funding questions. The DNR’s “Green Team” meetings bring important parties in the cleanup and redevelopment process together to discuss issues, answer key questions and give everyone a better understanding of the project at hand. DNR staff are available to discuss liability protections, regulatory processes and financial assistance available for the investigation, remediation and redevelopment of a contaminated property.

Green Team meetings are an effective and efficient way for local governments and others to evaluate options, plan for and work through a brownfield project. Many successful brownfield redevelopment projects in Wisconsin start with a local Green Team meeting. Funding from the EPA helps make this possible.

DNR staff participate in more than 100 Green Team meetings annually. Additional information, including a list of meetings held so far this year, can be found in the Section 128(a) Grant Mid-Year Report.

To learn more about Green Team meetings in general, visit the RR Program’s Green Team assistance web page.

New RR Program Staff

The RR Program recently hired four new staff. Two are from outside the program; two are from within, accepting new assignments. They are:

South Central Region Team Supervisor: Steve L. Martin.

Steve is a trained hydrogeologist and has spent most of his 25-plus years working in the private sector. Steve has worked on a wide variety of contaminants across many regulatory programs such as CERCLA, RCRA and NR 700 and has extensive experience as a project manager and supervising teams of hydrogeologists. He’s been with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for the last four years, working on remediating sites affected by agricultural chemicals. Steve started with the agency on May 15 and is located in the South Central Region headquarters in Fitchburg.

Waste Management Engineer: Angela Carey

Angela is the engineering technical advisor for all RR program projects. She is responsible for providing assistance with planning, coordinating and evaluating engineering aspects of projects within the RR Program including evaluating alternatives for site remediation, particularly the design and construction/implementation of remedial actions, including untried, new and innovative remedial action technologies. She will also evaluate response action performance at state lead projects and conduct periodic optimization evaluations. Angela will serve as an expert for PCB/TSCA cleanups, hazardous waste requirements at cleanup sites, and RCRA Corrective Actions.  She will also assist with sites in the Superfund and Superfund Alternative program. Angela’s first day with the Program was April 17.

Northeast Region Spills Coordinator: Rick Joslin

Rick started in the RR Program’s Green Bay Office in 2015 as a hydrogeologist and back-up regional spills coordinator. For the last year he’s been acting as the Regional Spills Coordinator while maintaining his responsibilities as a project manager. Rick has worked in the environmental consulting industry for the past 14 years and has been involved with projects in the agriculture, commercial, industrial, government, and solid waste practice areas. Rick’s new position was effective as of May 15.

West Central Region Spill Coordinator: Pat Collins

Pat has 38 years of experience, the last 26 of which has been as a project manager in the RR Program, with three of those years as the backup spills coordinator for the region. Pat has a BS in Soil Science, as well as post-graduate coursework in hydrogeology. In addition, Pat is a Professional Soil Scientist and a Certified Soil Tester, registered in Wisconsin. Pat’s new position was effective as of May 15.

Snapshot: PECFA Financials

The RR Program will provide monthly updates in the RR Report on the status of PECFA claims and the overall PECFA budget. The table below provides information on the number and value of claims submitted, the number and value of claims audited and ready for payment, and the remaining available funding.

 

Number of claims in house 32
Value of claims in house $152,393
Number of claims audited and ready for payment 8
Value of claims audited and ready for payment $22,103
Current available PECFA funding $1,212,342
Total spent FY17 appropriation $4,462,071

180 Days and June 30, 2020: Two “Dates” to Remember

If you’re a PECFA claimant or a consultant planning to seek reimbursement for costs incurred on PECFA-eligible sites, you’re reminded of two very important deadlines:

  • PECFA claims must be submitted to the DNR within 180 days of incurring costs (i.e., completing a task).  If a claim for costs incurred is not submitted within this deadline, the costs will not be eligible for PECFA reimbursement; and
  • All claims must be submitted by June 30, 2020, which is the day that the PECFA program will end in Wisconsin.

The DNR considers the date of submittal to the DNR to be the date a claim is emailed, postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered. If you plan to hand-deliver a claim, the DNR suggests getting a date stamp from the DNR staff person who receives the claim as a best management practice.

It would be most advantageous for sites in the PECFA program to have a Site Investigation and Remedial Action Options Report complete and submitted to DNR by now in order to be on track for closure by the June 30, 2020 if reimbursement is being sought.

Your DNR Project Manager can assist you with meeting that deadline.

Submit W-9s and STAR Vendor Forms as Separate PDFs

Claims to the PECFA program are subject to open record requests. In order to keep personally identifiable information protected, the RR Program requests that you submit your W-9 and STAR Vendor forms as two individual PDFs separate from your claim documents. This will allow program staff to easily delete these files and the sensitive information after verification.

Both the W-9 (IRS Form W-9) and the STAR Vendor form (DOA-6457) can be found on the RR Program’s PECFA web page (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/brownfields/pecfa.html) under the “Documents” tab near the top of the page.