Grants

Waterfront Brownfields Projects May Benefit from NFWF Grant

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), along with private and public partners, is accepting applications for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program.

The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in modest sized grants nationwide. Local governments and non-profit organizations can apply for this funding that can be used to assist with restoration of urban waterfront areas.

Applications are due January 31, 2018.

All application materials must be submitted online through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

“All Aboard!” Spooner’s Historic Roundhouse Revival

Spooner Roundhouse

Contaminated soils from around the Roundhouse were excavated and hauled off site to the old Spooner Landfill. The Roundhouse area was then capped and seeded. This area will be used for a public space. Spooner will be renovating the Roundhouse as a public space.

The city of Spooner, located in northwestern Wisconsin, pop. 2,700, has a rich railroad heritage. The city’s origin and colorful history is rooted in the railroad expansion of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Spooner was an important railroad center of the Chicago and North Western Railway for many years. A historic railway roundhouse, a surviving turntable, and other aspects of the original rail yard still exist. The Spooner roundhouse is one of the few remaining structures of its kind.

Several local and state organizations have collaborated for years on efforts to clean up environmental contamination and preserve this unique and historic landmark property. The land is in the “Museum District” which also includes the Railroad Memories Museum and the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum. The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state. The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad operates active tracks on the site.

Remediated dirt

The regulatory issues involved in this project were handled through a collaboration of the Wisconsin DNR’s R&R and Waste and Materials Management programs. The excavated soils were placed at the old Spooner Landfill and used as part of a recapping project. The contaminated soils remaining at the site were capped and seeded.

Many years of railroad activities and subsequent manufacturing uses led to concerns about possible environmental contamination on the property. Section 128(a) funding from the EPA contributed to several successful Green Team project meetings with the Wisconsin DNR, the city of Spooner, and other stakeholders. Section 128(a) funds also supported the Wisconsin DNR’s efforts to counsel the city on managing environmental liability and other communications with the city. Spooner further received Phase I ESA contractor services through the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Assessments Money (WAM) program, funded by the EPA ARC Assessment grants, prior to its acquisition of the roundhouse property.

Contaminated soils from around the roundhouse were excavated and disposed of at the old city landfill, as part of a recapping project. The roundhouse property was then capped and seeded. The property will be open to the public, and the city of Spooner is also renovating the roundhouse as a public space.

Roundhouse turntable

The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state.

The success of this northern Wisconsin cleanup site is highlighted in the recent year-end Report, a summary of the outcomes funded by a Section 128(a) grant from the US EPA made to the Wisconsin DNR’s Brownfields program. Previous 128(a) reports, including mid-year and year-end summaries going back to 2012, can be found on the DNR’s RR Program web page.

 

EPA Grant Available for Environmental Workforce Development, Job Training; Webinar-based Application Assistance Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting Request for Proposals (RFPs) for FY18 grants related to environmental workforce development and job training. These grants are provided to eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to develop environmental programs that recruit, train and place unemployed and under-employed residents of communities affected by brownfields and other environmental contamination with the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field and in assessment and cleanup work taking place in their communities.

The grants, called Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grants, may be funded up to $200,000 over a three-year period.

To assist applicants with their proposals, EPA will hold an informational webinar for prospective grant applicants. The webinar will be held on November 7, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. EST. It will be recorded and posted to EPA’s brownfields website.

The deadline to submit an RFP is December 15, 2017. All proposals must be submitted through the grants.gov website.

Milwaukee to Use DNR Brownfield Assessment Funds at Inner Harbor Property

Milwaukee's Inner Harbor

A WAM grant will help repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor as part of a continuing effort to improve this gateway to the city.
Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

Efforts to repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor will get a boost from a recently issued Department of Natural Resources brownfields award.

The award comes from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $25,000. The work will help Milwaukee – specifically the Redevelopment Authority of the City of the Milwaukee (RACM) – assess potential contamination, leading to eventual remediation and redevelopment of the prime waterfront site.

The nearly 14-acre site on Greenfield Avenue is located across the street from the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and is currently a vacant lot that had historically housed fuel oil tanks. Over the years, fill material has been used to shore up a nearby dock wall and fill in a former boat slip.

“The DNR is honored to be a part of the future of this site,” said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR’s brownfields program. “Assessing this property for historic contamination is an important first step to the development of this waterfront property, which has so much potential given its location on Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor near the Freshwater Sciences building.”

Administered by the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the award is an attractive opportunity for communities. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.

Applications can be submitted for WAM awards at any time. Properties eligible for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing. Gas stations, dry cleaners and salvage yards are not eligible.

Requests for DNR “Acknowledgment Letter” Due November 2

If you plan to submit an application for an FY2018 EPA brownfield grant, you only have a couple weeks left to request your letter of acknowledgment from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program for your federal grant application.

The EPA requires grant applicants other than tribal environmental authorities to obtain a letter from the DNR acknowledging that the state is aware the applicant is applying for a federal grant to conduct brownfield assessment, revolving loan fund or cleanup activities.

While the federal deadline to submit an application for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, or Cleanup grants isn’t until November 16, 2017, the DNR requests at least two weeks’ notice – November 2 – to develop and deliver your letter in a timely manner. These federal grants are available for the assessment and cleanup of brownfield properties.

You can request your state letter of acknowledgment from the DNR by contacting Elisabeth Kuisis (608-267-0543).

To find out how to get a DNR letter of acknowledgment and other useful information, visit the DNR Federal brownfield grants web page. For more information about the federal grants, see the September 20 article in the RR Report.

FY 2018 EPA Brownfields Grant Application Guidelines Released

The FY 2018 application guidelines for EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants have been released by the Office of Land and Emergency Management. Proposals are due to EPA by November 16, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

These federal grants are available for the assessment and cleanup of brownfield properties.

For assistance with applying for a FY 2018 Brownfields Grant, contact your regional EPA representative or the Region 5 Technical Assistance to Brownfield (TAB) provider, KSU. TAB can provide free review of your draft EPA Assessment and Cleanup proposals. Please give TAB a one-week heads-up that you will be sending a draft to review. It generally takes TAB a few days to get the proposals back to you. Please contact Blase Leven (785-532-0780) to reserve your spot.

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

Pittsville, Edgerton receive DNR brownfield awards

MADISON – Two Wisconsin communities stand to benefit from Department of Natural Resources brownfields awards to assist with the investigation of historic contamination.

Pittsville and Edgerton received Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) from the DNR for contractor services worth a combined $45,000. Administered by the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of contaminated properties.

“The work will help the communities better understand the contaminated areas in question, leading to potential job growth, retention and economic development,” said Christine Haag, DNR brownfields section chief.

Continue reading “Pittsville, Edgerton receive DNR brownfield awards”

Wisconsin Communities Receive $1.8M in EPA Brownfields Awards for FY17

Money stack clip artA handful of Wisconsin communities, counties and entities will put to use recent brownfields awards from the US EPA. The awards are for assessment or cleanup activities and are part of the 279 awards given to communities across the nation, totaling $56.8 million.

These Assessment and Cleanup Grants, in Wisconsin and elsewhere, will aid under-served communities through the assessment and cleanup of abandoned industrial and commercial properties and expand the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses.

Recipient Assessment / Cleanup Award Amount
Blugold Real Estate Foundation, Inc. (Eau Claire) Cleanup $200,000
Blugold Real Estate Foundation, Inc. (Eau Claire) Cleanup $200,000
Green Bay Assessment $300,000
Sheboygan County Assessment $300,000
Washington County Assessment $600,000
Wauwatosa Assessment $200,000

The US EPA has a list of all FY17 grants selected for funding, as well as a searchable database and fact sheets of all selected applicants.

Brownfield Awards go to Three Communities in Wisconsin

Three Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) Contractor Services Awards were awarded to assess contamination at two former wood-processing plants and a former creamery in Clark, Lincoln and Rusk counties.Investigating for Contamination

The projects are valued up to $18,000 each. The services will be used to determine soil and groundwater conditions at the former Owen Manufacturing wood-processing plant in Clark County; the former Hurd Manufacturing facility in Merrill/Lincoln counties; and at the former Sheldon Creamery in Rusk County.

See the full article for more information.

Wisconsin DNR Receives EPA Coalition Assessment Grant

The DNR’s RR Program will continue to help communities assess their brownfield sites with the addition of a $600,000 grant from the US EPA’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grant program. The DNR, in partnership with the Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition (WBC), is one of four Wisconsin entities to receive an FY16 ARC grant, allowing the agency to continue providing assistance to communities through the Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program. The WAM program provides no-cost environmental assessments at sites that are poised for cleanup and redevelopment. The WBC includes the DNR and all nine Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissions.

In the EPA press release, Administrator Gina McCarthy says, “These grants will empower communities to transform idle, languishing lands into vibrant hubs for business, jobs, and recreation. It’s all about empowering that initial funding, and sparking that first conversation to set stalled sites on a path to smart, safe redevelopment that directly benefits communities.”