State Acknowledgement Letter for EPA Grants: State Deadline & New EPA Requirement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for FY23 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) & Cleanup (MARC) Grants. The deadline for applications is Nov. 22, 2022.

If your community or organization intends to apply for an FY23 MARC Grant, the EPA requires grant applicants – except tribal entities – to obtain a state acknowledgement letter from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The letter acknowledges that the state is aware of the community or organization’s application for a federal grant and intent to conduct brownfield assessment or cleanup activities.

New EPA Requirement for Cleanup Grants. A new EPA requirement for cleanup grant applicants affects the state acknowledgment letter for cleanup grants. Cleanup grant applicants must demonstrate that a proposed property was sufficiently characterized and is ready for the cleanup to begin (or will be ready to begin by June 15, 2023). For any requested state acknowledgement letters for cleanup grants, the DNR may describe:

  • The general status of a property in the state’s contaminated site cleanup process
  • The enrollment eligibility of the property in the voluntary party liability exemption program
  • The specific site characterization and remediation status of the property, as listed in BRRTS, as well as the status of submittals and any requested DNR technical reviews

Request a DNR Acknowledgement Letter by Nov. 4, 2022. Send written requests for state acknowledgement letters to Molly Schmidt at MollyE.Schmidt@Wisconsin.gov no later than Nov. 4, 2022, to allow adequate time to draft and receive the letter prior to the EPA’s application deadline of Nov. 22, 2022.

  • For all grants, include the following information:
    • Type of grant being applied for: multipurpose, assessment, cleanup or revolving loan fund
    • The name, title and mailing address of the person to whom the letter should be addressed (i.e., the representative of the entity applying for the grant)
    • A general description of the community concerns about the property related to brownfields, socioeconomic challenges and redevelopment needs
  • For assessment grants, include the following information:
    • The property address, a brief history of ownership, a brief history of site-specific land use and why the property is suspected of being contaminated; include DNR Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) identification number(s), if applicable
  • For cleanup grants, include the following information:
    • The property address, a brief history of ownership, a brief history of site-specific land uses and why the property is known to be contaminated; include BRRTS identification number(s), if applicable
    • A statement of whether the applicant and/or landowner intends to enroll the property in the voluntary party liability exemption program
    • The approximate timeframe to complete site investigation, begin cleanup at the property, submit reports required under Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-799 and estimated time for DNR staff review
  • For petroleum contamination cleanup or assessment grants, include the following information:
    • The current property owner, occupant and the immediate past-owner of the property
    • The date and method by which the current owner acquired the property (e.g., purchase, tax foreclosure)
    • Whether the applicant, the current owner, or immediate past-owner dispensed or disposed of petroleum on the property
    • Whether the applicant, the current owner, or immediate past-owner took reasonable steps to contain any known contamination
    • Whether there are any state or federal environmental judgments or orders, or third-party suits or claims against the current or immediate past-owner, and if the current or immediate past-owner has the financial means to comply
    • Reasons why any of the above information may not be available

Grants awarded by the EPA provide resources that can be used for various brownfield activities, with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes.

EPA Grant Information. For grant guidelines and application resources, visit the EPA’s FY23 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, RLF and Cleanup Grant Resource webpage.

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