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.
Continue reading “DNR and DHS Work Together to Improve Water Quality in Wisconsin”
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.
Continue reading “RR Program Offers New SI Checklists”
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.
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.
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.
Continue reading “Requests for DNR “Acknowledgment Letter” Due January 18”
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.
Continue reading “DNR Interim Decision on Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) Program and Emerging Contaminants”
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.
Continue reading “Kansas State TAB Program Offers EPA Grant Review”
The Wisconsin DNR’s final report summarizing efforts and accomplishments funded by a US EPA Section 128(a) Grant is now complete and available online.
The report, prepared by the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program’s Brownfields and Outreach section, highlights the work and major accomplishments that program staff and partners achieved during the September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018 grant year.
Previous reports, including the recent mid-year update on 128(a) funded efforts, are also available on the RR program’s website.
“Our staff put a lot of time and effort into working on brownfields cleanup and redevelopment projects and policies throughout the year. We’re proud to present this comprehensive report on those efforts and we’re grateful to the US EPA for providing funds to help us with those projects,” said Christine Haag, Brownfields and Outreach section chief.
2018 marks the anniversaries of two things that shape and guide the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program: the Spill Law (Wis. Admin. Code Ch. 292) and the Brownfields Study Group. It’s the 40th anniversary of “292,” while the Study Group celebrates 20 years.
Both are highlighted in this article in the current edition of the DNR’s Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
Many of our RR Report readers have played a role in helping to shape Wisconsin’s brownfields policies, and have done the work to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The DNR recognizes your efforts, appreciates the partnerships, and looks forward to another successful 40 years.
Brownfields are former industrial and commercial properties that are now idle or underused, where the existence or possibility of environmental contamination is, at least in part, inhibiting redevelopment. They exist in every community. State grants and loans are available to help assess, investigate, and clean up these properties.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) offers two popular brownfield grant programs. Their Site Assessment Grant (SAG) Program helps communities conduct initial property research and data gathering activities on brownfield properties. Their Brownfields Grant Program funds environmental cleanup work.
The WEDC recently announced an increase in SAG funding for FY19, to $1.5 million, and approved another allocation of $5 million for Brownfield Grants. They also significantly reduced the local government’s required match amount for rural communities to just 20% for SAG awards, and 50% for cleanup grants.
In addition to the WEDC grants, the DNR offers environmental consultant services through the Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) grant program with no local match required, and cleanup funding through the Ready for Reuse grant and loan program with 20% local match and 0% loans.
The DNR and the WEDC work together to help communities address brownfield properties. Contact the DNR to set up a Green Team meeting to discuss your projects.