The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields program provides direct grant funding to local governments and other entities for environmental assessment activities, cleanup work, and the capitalization of revolving loan funds. New grant application guidelines are announced each year in the fall, typically in October, and applicants usually have around eight weeks to complete and submit their application.
Competition for these grants is strong, and the total amount of funding available is limited to about $50 million nationwide each year. Many Wisconsin communities and the DNR have obtained brownfields grant funds from the EPA over the past 15 years.
Continue reading “EPA ARC Grants Preparation & BUILD Act”
Every year, in the fall, the EPA offers a new opportunity for local governments and others to obtain grant funds for environmental assessments, revolving loan funds, and property cleanup work (“ARC”). It is good to get started early on your grant application package, well before the official EPA announcement is made in the fall.
One of the EPA’s national outreach and assistance contractors is hosting a free “head-start” grant writing webinar on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT. The title of the webinar is “Writers of the Best ARC.” In addition to tried-and-true tips and techniques, along with hard lessons learned, the webinar is offering grant writing advice from expert grant writers from around the country.
Get a head start on the ARC grant application period, and learn about recent federal legislative changes that may affect the EPA guidelines this fall. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3941484594013599491
In addition, the EPA periodically hosts general grant award process webinars. More information on these presentations is available at https://www.epa.gov/grants/epa-grants-award-process-webinars.
The EPA’s Office of Site Remediation Enforcement announced the schedule for the series of eight listening sessions related to recommendations contained in the July 2017 Superfund Task Force Report. These listening sessions will provide a forum for EPA personnel to obtain stakeholder input on specific recommendations, increase public participation and transparency, and strengthen communication with stakeholders.
The eight listening sessions begin May 21, 2018 and end June 18, 2018. Information on each of the listening sessions and registration links are available on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/listening-sessions-superfund-task-force-recommendations. The first session addresses Recommendation 16.2 and focuses on expediting negotiations with potentially responsible parties under Superfund cleanup agreements. Registration for the first listening session is open now.
The registration form provides a participant with the option to make live verbal remarks or to listen online. All session participants must register. Registration for verbal remarks also means the opportunity to listen to the entire session. The registration slots for verbal remarks are limited due to the two-hour time frame for the session. Additionally, the agency would like listening session participants to focus their remarks, both verbal and written submissions, on the questions and topics identified on each session’s registration form. Written remarks can be sent to OSRE via the listen session email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BUILD Act (Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development) was signed into law in March 2018 and is the first major legislative change to Brownfields since passage of the original statute in 2002. Specific changes include: increased eligibility for funding, additional liability protections, and changes to grant programs, just to name a few.
Join Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program for a free, National TAB webinar, on Wednesday, May 9 at 1:00 pm (Central), to hear about how the BUILD Act will improve the national brownfields program and support community brownfields revitalization. The webinar will feature officials from U.S. EPA, a local community, national brownfield experts, and the coordinator of the National Brownfields Coalition. Click here to register and visit the event web page to get more information about this May 9 BUILD Act webinar.
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.
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.
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, email@example.com.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Brownfields Conference for Local Government: Revitalization Tools and Techniques – Getting to Groundbreaking, coming May 10 to the Stevens Point Holiday Inn Convention Center.
This day-long event will cover a variety of cleanup and redevelopment topics of interest to communities across the state, including:
- Local government success stories and lessons learned
- The real estate developer’s perspective
- The DNR’s brownfields toolbox
- Federal and state resources for brownfields redevelopment
- Environmental consultant and community relationships
“The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment program is honored to once again host local government officials and non-profit representatives at this event,” said Christine Haag, Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief at the DNR. “We enjoy strong partnerships with many communities across the state. This conference is a chance for us to come together and share the collective knowledge and skills regarding the community’s role in environmental cleanups and the productive reuse of brownfields.”
Registration for the 2018 Brownfields Conference for Local Government is limited and reserved for government officials and non-profit representatives through April 15 at the rate of $35. The following day, registration increases to $50 and is open to all guests. (Please note: technical topics will not be discussed during this conference; Consultants’ Days events will return in the spring of 2019.)
To learn more about the conference and to stay up to date with the latest information, please visit the RR Program’s conference and training web page.