Brownfields

Brownfields Opportunity Zones: TAB Webinar on May 21

There are a lot of financing tools and incentives available to communities for tackling the challenges of financing brownfields redevelopment. From tax-exempt bonds to district-based financing to revolving loan funds, the financing for brownfields redevelopment is often layered with multiple financing tools to produce the final project capital stack. With the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, communities now have a new federal incentive in their toolbox – Opportunity Zones.

Through a special partnership with KSU TAB, CCLR, and CDFA, webinar panelists will explore how communities are preparing themselves for Opportunity Zone investments. Speakers will also examine how communities across the U.S. are integrating these new strategies with current and future redevelopment plans, with a specific focus on brownfields sites.

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Site Investigations Basics; TAB Webinar on May 2, 2019

Register today for a free webinar about the environmental assessment and investigation of real property and how the results of these processes impact redevelopment options.

The webinar is May 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. (CST), and is sponsored by the National Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can register here: https://www.ksutab.org/education/webinars/details?id=352.

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DNR and DHS Work Together to Improve Water Quality in Wisconsin

The Department of Natural Resources announced two new water quality initiatives as part of Governor Evers’ Year of Clean Drinking Water declaration for 2019.

This week the DNR worked with Department of Health Services (DHS) to ask the health agency to review 40 contaminants for possible groundwater quality standards. This work comes on the heels of the department asking DHS last spring to review an initial 27 contaminants, including two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in numerous products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain resistant sprays and firefighting foam.

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RR Program Offers New SI Checklists

Two site investigation checklists are now available from the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program.

The Site Investigation Work Plan Preparation Checklist (RR-096) and the Site Investigation Report (SIR) Preparation Checklist (RR-097) are optional tools that environmental consultants and responsible parties can use to help develop site investigation work plans and reports in compliance with Wis. Admin. Code NR 716.

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Darsi Foss Named Administrator of Environmental Management Division at DNR

Darsi Foss has been named Division Administrator for the Environmental Management (EM) Division. Along with the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program, the EM Division also consists of the Air Management, Drinking Water and Groundwater, Office of Great Waters, Waste and Materials Management and the Water Quality programs.

Foss has been at the helm of the RR Program since 2014 and served as the Program’s Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief from 1998 to 2014.

Foss leaves the RR Program well-positioned to meet the demands and challenges in the months ahead as it not only oversees cleanup and redevelopment efforts around the state, but as the Program works through revisions to the NR 700-799 rules and issues regarding emerging chemical contamination, including PFAS.

Darsi starts her new position as part of the DNR management team on February 17.

Brownfields Study Group Member Karen Dettmer to Lead Milwaukee Water Utility

Karen Dettmer has been named to head up the Milwaukee Water Works. The Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Works Committee unanimously approved the appointment during its January 23, 2018 meeting.

Dettmer, a licensed engineer who’s held various positions with the City of Milwaukee, has been a formal member of the Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group since May 2015.

Most recently, Dettmer was the public works coordination manager for Milwaukee’s Dept. of Public Works. Before that, she spent several years with the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee.

 

Requests for DNR “Acknowledgment Letter” Due January 18

If you plan to apply for an FY2019 EPA brownfield grant, you have until Friday, January 18 to request your letter of acknowledgment from the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program as part of your federal grant application.

To learn how to get a DNR letter of acknowledgment, and other useful information, visit the DNR Federal brownfield grants web page.

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DNR Interim Decision on Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) Program and Emerging Contaminants

Wisconsin’s Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program allows a person to clean up a property and receive an exemption from future liability for historic contamination. Once cleanup is complete, the VPLE Certificate of Completion (COC) provides liability protection for the owner of the property. It is also transferrable to future owners. Since 1995, the DNR has issued 186 COCs. Eighty-three voluntary parties are currently pursuing a VPLE COC.

Recent concerns over emerging contaminants, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) chemicals in Wisconsin and nationally have prompted the DNR to evaluate the potential for historical discharges of PFAS and other emerging contaminants at properties enrolled in the VPLE program that are pursuing a COC.

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Kansas State TAB Program Offers EPA Grant Review

With the competitive nature of securing an EPA Multipurpose, Assessment, or Cleanup (MAC) grant, it doesn’t hurt to have an objective review of your grant application. (See Nov. 30 RR Report article regarding EPA MAC Grants)

The Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) program at Kansas State University provides such a review of your MAC grant proposals. The review is available for applicants in EPA Regions 5 through 8.

Staff at “K State” request at least a week’s notice that you will be sending a draft of the MAC application for review. The review is free of charge and can usually be turned around within a few days.

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