Environmental Contamination

NR 700 Submittals Now Accepted by Email

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is taking steps toward making site file records available electronically via BRRTS on the Web (BOTW).

To assist with this goal, the program encourages consultants to submit NR 700 milestone documents via email to a regional email address and to the project manager instead of submitting a CD or DVD. The RR Program reminds consultants that both electronic and hard copy submittals are required (as well as the fee, if applicable) before submittals are considered “received” by the department. Documents can either be provided as an email attachment or uploaded to the RR Program’s FTP site (if the files are over 12 megabytes). NR 700.11(3g) allows the department to issue this blanket pre-approval for email submittals.

Updated guidance on electronic submittals can be found in Guidance for Electronic Submittals for the Remediation and Redevelopment Program (RR-690) [PDF]

By following the recommendations in the submittal guidance, consultants will help RR staff identify and review documents in a timely manner.

New Guidance Documents Now Available on Managing Contaminated Soil and other Wastes

The RR Program recently finalized four new guidance documents regarding the management of contaminated soil and other waste materials excavated at sites or facilities in locations other than a licensed landfill.

This guidance is the culmination of several years of discussion between the RR Program and external stakeholders, including more than 20 individuals who served on the program’s Contaminated Materials Management Advisory Group and other interested parties who also participated in meetings. The group was formed in May 2015 and met more than a dozen times to provide input on issues related to materials management. The RR Program thanks those who participated for sharing their time and perspective.

These new guidance documents include:

  • RR-060, Management of Contaminated Soil and Other Solid Wastes Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and NR 718.15, provides a general overview of the exemptions available under NR 718 for managing excavated material, a description of when these exemptions may apply, and a summary of the application process and requirements.
  • RR-071, NR 718.12 Sample Results Notification, provides a cover page that may be used when submitting laboratory reports to the DNR to satisfy the requirements of NR 718.12(1)(e)(4).
  • RR-072, Recommended Format for Exemption Request Wis. Admin Code NR 718.12 or NR 718.15, provides a consistent format to demonstrate that the proposed management of solid waste material, as a remedial or interim action, qualifies for a NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption and to request written approval of the exemption from the DNR.
  • RR-073, Request for Exemption from Location Criteria of NR 718.12(1)(c) for Managing Soil as an Immediate Action, provides a format to request that the DNR allow management of soil, as an immediate action, in an area that will not comply with the location criteria listed in NR 718.12(1)(c).

Contact Paul Grittner at (608) 266-0941 or paul.grittner@wisconsin.gov regarding questions related to these documents.

Prepared Workbook: Process for Risk Evaluation, Property Analysis and Reuse Decisions

The Prepared Workbook for Brownfields and Land Revitalization from the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is a risk management framework for evaluating various actions that a local government might take to bring about a desired reuse at contaminated properties that it does not currently own.

The workbook is available now from the CDFA and is a good resource for municipal officials who are looking to clean up and redevelop contaminated property.


Temporary groundwater monitoring wells

Temporary wells have become increasingly common as part of site investigations and Phase II environmental site assessments. Although temporary wells can be useful tools, they have limitations in their use. It is critical that temporary wells are properly installed to ensure the integrity of the results and that they are adequately protected to avoid becoming a conduit for contaminant migration.

Installation of temporary wells requires prior approval from the department, as described in s. NR 141.29, Wis. Adm. Code. In addition, compliance with Ch. NR 141 is required for all wells installed for the purposes of Ch. 292, Wis. Stats. This means all monitoring wells installed for site investigations and Phase II reports submitted to the department must meet the NR 141 requirements, which includes prior department approval for temporary wells.

To avoid incurring additional costs and unneeded project delays, refer to the DNR guidance on the appropriateness and limitations of temporary wells, publication RR-647, “Fact Sheet of Frequently Asked Questions about Temporary Wells“.


Updated Guidance Document: Frequently Asked Questions about the Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE)

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program has finalized a guidance document to help people using the Voluntary Party Liability Exemption program. The final version of the document, “Frequently Asked Questions about the Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE),” DNR publication RR-507, is now available. The VPLE program allows people to conduct an environmental investigation and cleanup of a contaminated property with DNR oversight and receive an exemption from future liability. This document provides detailed information about the VPLE program that has helped facilitate many successful brownfield remediation and redevelopment projects across Wisconsin.

The DNR response to public comments received about this guidance is also available. Questions should be directed to Michael Prager, 608-261-4927.

New Hazardous Substance Spills Publication Available

RR Program staff have updated the popular “Reporting Hazardous Substance Spills” (RR-560) publication, available online for posting in your office or sharing with clients and colleagues.

Wis. Stat. § 292.11 (2) and Wis. Admin. § NR 706.5 require individuals and entities that possess or control a hazardous substance, or that cause the discharge of a hazardous substance to the environment to notify DNR immediately about the discharge. RR-560 summarizes reporting requirements, reporting exemptions, and DNR spill coordinator contact information. RR-560 is intended for use in businesses and other places where hazardous substance spills may occur, so that reporting requirements can be quickly determined and followed. It is also useful for local governments, environmental consultants, and individuals involved in commercial/industrial property construction and development.

RR Program RCL Calculator Updated

The Wisconsin DNR updated the numerical soil standards, or residual contaminant levels (RCLs), in the Remediation and Redevelopment program’s spreadsheet of RCLs to reflect the US EPA June 2016 update to its Regional Screening Level (RSL) website. The RR Program RCL Spreadsheet Update (RR-052d) provides a summary of the updates incorporated in the June 2016 spreadsheet.

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