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.
In late 2013, the city of Wausau received $151,171 in Ready for Reuse grant funding through Wisconsin DNR’s 104(k) revolving loan fund grant for a cleanup at 1010 North 1st Street. The property, one in a string of parcels, was identified along the Wisconsin River as part of a comprehensive riverfront redevelopment strategy. Since then, extensive work along the river corridor has occurred with the goal of bringing business and public access to what was once underused riverfront property.
The site’s history includes lumber production, manufacturing, scrap iron, and automobile parking and storage. The 3.9-acre property is one of six contiguous former industrial riverfront properties totaling 16 acres adjacent to the Wisconsin River that are planned for commercial, residential and/or recreational mixed use redevelopment known as the Riverfront Redevelopment Area.
Continue reading “Wausau Riverfront Redevelopment: Grant Funding Assists in Completion of Riverfront Corridor”
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Remediation and Redevelopment Program – along with its seven regional planning commission partners – is the recipient of a $600,000 US EPA Brownfields Grant.
The Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition will use this money to continue the Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program which provides funding to aid local governments and other eligible applicants in assessing and investigating environmental contamination at brownfields sites throughout the state. The coalition will target closed and closing manufacturing facilities to assess potential environmental contamination that could complicate reuse of the properties.
In addition to the Wisconsin DNR’s award, several other Wisconsin communities and entities were awarded US EPA Brownfields Grants:
- Stevens Point – $300,000
- Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee – $900,000
- Racine – $300,000
- Manitowoc – $300,000
- Manitowoc Community Development Authority – $200,000
- Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission – $300,000
“Clearly there is no shortage of creativity, innovation and ingenuity when it comes to brownfields redevelopment projects in the great State of Wisconsin,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator and former Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “EPA looks forward to expanding our work with our partners to redevelop brownfields so they can once again be thriving parts of their communities – spurring local economies with jobs and new businesses as well as generating tax revenues and spending.”
A full version of the US EPA press release can be found here.
The U.S. Forest Service anticipates approximately $3.7 million in new funds will be available for tree planting and restoring native vegetation in the Great Lakes Basin. This funding will be competitively awarded to the best proposals received through the May 11, 2018 deadline at grants.gov. Search for Grant Opportunity Number USDA-FS-2018-GLRI. See the attached announcement and the link below for more information.
Door County, WI
Funds will be distributed across the following three program areas:
- Mitigate Emerald Ash Borer Impacts,
- Reduce Runoff from Degraded Sites through Green Infrastructure, and
- Enhance Coastal Wetland Filtration.
See the 2018 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative RFA website for more information.
Invitation for an informational webinar about this grant opportunity:
Thursday, April 5, 2018, @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00 p.m. Central–Webinar will be recorded for later viewing.
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Applications are due April 9 for the 2018 Wisconsin RPCs and DNR Great Lakes Basin Tree Planting Grant Program. The goal of the program is to increase tree planning in Wisconsin to mitigate the effects of the emerald ash borer and to help reduce runoff in urban communities. Phytoremediation efforts may be eligible.
All communities within the Wisconsin Great Lakes Basin are eligible, but this program will particularly target projects in communities:
- Within emerald ash borer quarantines
- Within watersheds with surface water quality concerns
- On tribal lands
- Within communities that are members of a Regional Planning Commission
- Within areas of concern (AOCs) for beneficial use impairments
- In Tree City USA communities
Just over $120,000 is available to help fund projects ranging in cost from $1,000 to $20,000.
Many communities in Wisconsin have properties with known or suspected contamination that could benefit from environmental assessment to help move those properties from underused to productive. The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be able to help.
Through the Wisconsin Assessment Monies program – or WAM – the DNR provides professional environmental site assessments to local governments, tribes and to private entities in select circumstances to help them to turn properties around and ready them for new uses. 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.
Applications for WAM services are accepted on an ongoing basis. 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. Sites assisted by WAM are generally less than 10 acres and have petroleum or hazardous substance contamination that can be assessed for less than $35,000.
Please call Tom Coogan, the WAM program administrator, at 608-267-7560 or email Tom to discuss eligibility requirements or for more information.
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”
A 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.
||Assessment / Cleanup
|Blugold Real Estate Foundation, Inc. (Eau Claire)
|Blugold Real Estate Foundation, Inc. (Eau Claire)
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.
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.
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.
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.”