Environmental Contamination

Updated Case Closure Reconsideration Guidance Now Available

The RR Program recently updated the fact sheet Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 726 Case Closure Reconsideration Process (RR-102). The DNR’s responses to comments received during the public comment period for the draft are available on the DNR website until August 20, 2018.

The purpose of this document is to provide responsible parties (RPs) with guidance on the opportunities available to engage the department to receive feedback on the adequacy of the Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-754 response actions undertaken and submitted by the RP to document case closure. This guidance presents the process and feedback opportunities available if case closure is not recommended by the department. This general process is referred to as the case closure reconsideration process.

More information about case closure is available on the DNR’s web page, Resources for Environmental Professionals.

Soil RCL Calculator Updates – June 2018

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program recently updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the U.S. EPA regional screening level web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the RCLs is in a new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number RR-052g.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Wisconsin DNR’s Resources for Environmental Professionals web page and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

Material Management Activity Type Now Available in BRRTS

A new tracking code entitled, Material Management (MM), has been created within the Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) to identify sites and facilities that have accepted contaminated soil or other solid waste with an exemption from certain solid waste program requirements through Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15.

BRRTS numbers assigned to the MM activities codes will have a ‘15’- prefix.  Only the main actions (e.g., an interim or remedial actions) and continuing obligations (e.g., engineering control for direct contact threats) directly related to the material management activity will be tracked as an MM activity on the receiving site or facility.  All interim or remedial actions involving Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718 materials management will be concurrently tracked at the ERP or LUST source property where the contaminated material was excavated.  The exception would be for continuing obligations imposed on the site or facility receiving the material.

The MM tracking code was created to allow the public to use BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) to clearly identify sites or facilities where contaminated soil and other solid waste was received and how it is being managed.  For actions approved by DNR in April 2018 and forward, BOTW can be used to search for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12/718.15 exemption was granted.  Only actions directly related to Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and 718.15 materials management will be listed in each MM activity, allowing users to efficiently obtain information specifically related to these activities.

An MM activity will be opened for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption was granted after March 29, 2018.    At this time, the DNR does not intend to retroactively create MM activities at sites or facilities where Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemptions were previously granted due to workload challenges.

Any questions regarding this process may be addressed to Paul Grittner at (608) 266-0941 or paul.grittner@wisconsin.gov.

New Vapor Intrusion Guidance Featured on April Issues & Trends Conference Call

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program brings back the Issues & Trends series at noon on April 4 with a conference call regarding the recently published guidance on vapor intrusion.

The guidance, Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation & Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin, RR-800, was revised in January 2018. During the next Issues & Trends event, vapor intrusion team leader Alyssa Sellwood will walk participants through key updates to RR-800 to familiarize callers with the new document. Alyssa will also discuss several topics related to vapor mitigation in greater detail, including mitigation in new construction and the importance of performance verification.

To join the conference call:

  • Dial 1-855-947-8255
  • Enter passcode 6612 745#
  • On April 4, 2018
  • At 12:00 p.m. CST

There is no cost to participate and no pre-registration is required.

Questions or comments in advance can be sent to DNRRRComments@wisconsin.gov. Handouts or any other materials related to the April 4 conference call will be made available in advance at the RR Program’s Conference and Training web page.

NR 700 Technical Focus Group Meeting March 12

The NR 700 Technical Focus Group will meet on March 12 in Madison. This group meets on an as needed basis to discuss technical issues and the application of our NR 700 series of administrative rules to the realities that consultants encounter while working on the investigation and cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination. Any consultant or other interested party may attend to listen or to speak with the DNR about the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.

Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the NR 700 Technical Focus Group website (dnr.wi.gov search “NR 700 technical focus group”). Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Judy Fassbender if planning to attend.

 

Public Input Opportunity – Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712 Certifications

The RR Program seeks your input on a draft document for use by persons who hire and those that provide services associated with conducting certain environmental response actions in Wisconsin. It identifies the professional qualifications and certifications for performing and supervising work required by Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712, and the requirement for certifying specific submittals for actions conducted under Wis. Stat. ch. 292 and Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 – 754. The current version of the rule has been in effect since November 2013 when Wis. Admin. Code § NR 712.03(1) was amended to add the requirement that a “hydrogeologist” also must be licensed as a hydrologist or registered as a geologist with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

The document can be reviewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/guidance.html and comments can be submitted through April 4, 2018 to the Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief, Christine Haag at Christine.Haag@wisconsin.gov. In addition, the RR Program will host a question and answer session on the qualification and certification requirements in Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712 as part of the NR 700 Technical Focus Group meeting scheduled for March 12, 2018. Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the NR 700 Technical Focus Group website (dnr.wi.gov search “NR 700 technical focus group”).  Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Judy Fassbender if planning to attend, judy.fassbender@wisconsin.gov.

Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program Has Authority to Regulate Emerging Contaminants – including, PFAS Compounds

Chemicals that have seen industrial use for decades are now beginning to be better understood by scientists and others concerned with their potential impacts to human health and the environment. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFASs) are a class of emerging contaminants known to impact environmental media, such as groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water.

Additional information about PFASs can be found on the EPA’s web page, the ITRC’s collection of fact sheets and through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

When discharged to the environment, PFAS compounds meet the definitions of hazardous substance and/or environmental pollution under Wis. Stat. § 292.01. Discharges of PFASs to the environment are subject to regulation under Wis. Stat. § 292 and the requirements for immediate notification, investigation, and remediation in Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 through 754.

Continue reading “Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program Has Authority to Regulate Emerging Contaminants – including, PFAS Compounds”

Updated Vapor Intrusion Guidance Now Available

Following two years of effort and collaboration with external partners to update guidance on response actions for vapor intrusion, the Remediation and Redevelopment Program is pleased to announce that the document, Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation and Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin (PUB-RR-800), is available to the public. (To see the DNR’s responses to comments received during the public comment period for the draft, please visit click this link.)

Page one of updated publication

Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation and Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin, DNR publication RR-800

The guidance relates to the assessment, remediation and mitigation of the vapor intrusion pathway at contaminated sites in Wisconsin, for both chlorinated and petroleum substances.

Among numerous updates, the new guidance incorporates the changes made to the Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. NR 700 in 2013. It also includes information found in the EPA’s 2015 vapor intrusion guidance documents, and it provides additional details on mitigation, including principles found in the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) 2017 national standard on vapor mitigation, SCM-SF-2017).

The RR-800 guidance was most recently updated in 2010.

Questions or comments about the new guidance can be addressed to Alyssa Sellwood.

Soil RCL Calculator Updates

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program has updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the recently-updated U.S. EPA regional screening level (RSL) web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the direct-contact RCLs can be found in the new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number DNR-RR-052f.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

PFAS Fact Sheets from ITRC

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of emerging contaminants known to impact groundwater and surface water. The information surrounding toxicity, laboratory methods, investigations, and remediation strategies is evolving, and the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) recently published three technical factsheets summarizing current information on PFAS.  The fact sheets are available online.

These fact sheets specifically relate to:
1. History and Use
2. Regulations, Guidance, and Advisories
3. Naming Conventions and Physical and Chemical Properties

Later this month, ITRC plans to finalize three additional guidance documents on Fate and Transport, Site Characterization, and Remediation, which will be made available on the ITRC website.