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.
In Pittsville, city officials will use the award to investigate contamination on a 2-acre site on the east side of town that used to be the home of numerous businesses dating back nearly a century. The buildings housed a number of businesses over the years, including Pittsville Pottery in the early 1930s and a shipping and cold storage business, and eventually was the home to Pittsville Lumber.
The site is now the new home to Vantage Mechanical, a steel manufacturing and fabrication business. The company has already done some environmental work to evaluate contamination on the property, but a limited site investigation is required to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate the level of risk associated with contamination from an old petroleum tank at the site.
Edgerton is using its award to evaluate a nearly five-acre property referred to as the Lawton Street site. The property is near the city’s downtown area and has been through numerous uses since it started as a rail yard in the late 1800s, including tobacco warehouses, a grain elevator, a pottery business, lumberyard, stockyard, feed mill, auto repair shop and various agrichemical companies.
Edgerton officials will use the award to assess site contamination and ensure compliance with current environmental investigation standards before considering the location for future development.
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 underused 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.