Author: elisabethkuisis

Updating the Environmental Services Contractor List

One of the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s many publications is the Environmental Services Contractors List, (DNR publication RR-024).

This is a self-identifying list of environmental consultants that the Program maintains and makes available on its “resources for private parties” web page. Also, staff provide this document to people if they ask for a consultant recommendation.

To have your consulting firm added to the document, or to update information that’s already there, please contact Deena Kinney. In your email, provide the following:

  • Name of firm
  • Address
  • City, state, zip code
  • Phone number
  • Fax number (if applicable)

Staff cull the list if they are aware of firm closings, consolidations, or other significant changes. If your contact information requires updating, please let us know.

Brownfields Study Group Meeting September 28

 The Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group will meet on September 28, 2018 in Madison. The meeting will be held at the Dane County UW-Extension building from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. An agenda for the meeting is posted on the group’s web page.

The Study Group meeting is open to the public; no RSVP is necessary.

The Study Group celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. It was created by the State Legislature to help the DNR develop solutions and strategies to increase the number of contaminated properties that were cleaned up and returned to productive use. The group meets a few times a year and has members from the private sector, local governments, non-profits and others.

If you have questions about this meeting or the Study Group, please contact Mick Skwarok, (608) 266-9263.

Internet Explorer Browser is the Solution to Your “Fillable PDF Forms” Problem

The Wisconsin DNR – including the Remediation and Redevelopment Program – uses a variety of “fillable PDF forms” to collect information from customers. However, these Adobe PDF fillable forms are not compatible with many internet browsers, except for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

If you are unable to open any of the DNR’s fillable forms (for example, the Case Closure form), you can likely resolve the issue by changing your internet browser to Internet Explorer. There is currently no issue with opening publications and other non-fillable PDF documents in other browsers.

The conflict is between Adobe and non-Internet Explorer browsers. Some Internet browsers use a PDF viewer that does not support fillable PDF forms. In particular, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari generally use their own version of PDF viewers rather than Adobe’s. Using Microsoft Internet Explorer [exit DNR] version 10 or higher will usually resolve the issue.

Also, please note that fillable PDF forms are only supported on desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10. Those forms will not work with mobile devices.

To complete and save all PDF forms provided on the DNR’s website, please be sure your device is running Adobe Reader [exit DNR] version 8 or higher.

Additional information is on the DNR’s Portable Document Format web page.

WEDC Reduces Local Grant-Matching Amounts for Brownfield Projects in Rural Communities

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.

 

Snapshot: August PECFA Financials

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides monthly updates on the status of Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) claims and the overall PECFA budget. Below are the updated PECFA numbers for August 2018.

Number Value
Claims Received 67 $407,230
Claims Paid 131 $565,099
Claims in audit line (as of August 31, 2018) 5 $33,380
Total Paid Biennium to Date $7,231,590

 

Fund for Lake Michigan Now Accepting Pre-Proposals

The Fund for Lake Michigan is now accepting pre-proposals for its Fall 2018 grant period.

Pre-Proposals are due on or before September 24, 2018. The proposals must be submitted through the Fund’s online grants management system. Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent out in October.

The Fund for Lake Michigan is seeking projects that enhance the health of Lake Michigan and its tributaries through habitat restoration, pollutant reduction, stream restoration and improvements to coastal areas in Wisconsin.

Grants are made only to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and to governmental agencies. Geographically, Fund for Lake Michigan grants are targeted to the Lake Michigan shoreline, near shore areas and watersheds within the Lake Michigan basin in Wisconsin. The Fund for Lake Michigan will also consider a small number of grants outside the Lake Michigan watershed and within the Madison Gas and Electric’s service territory.

Question about the program or the grant process can be directed to Casey Eggleson.

RR Program Phasing Out the Term “GIS Registry”

The words “GIS Registry” were removed from such popular Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program resources as RR Sites Map, BRRTS on the Web (BOTW), and the Case Closure Form (please note that the content and requirements of the Case Closure form did not change).

This is a deliberate and ongoing effort by the RR Program to update the outdated term “GIS Registry.” Instead, you may see or hear staff refer to the “Continuing Obligations Packet” (formerly the GIS Registry Packet), “database fees” instead of GIS fees, or “the database,” when discussing where to find information about sites with continuing obligations.

Regardless of how it’s stated, all sites with residual contamination and/or continuing obligations are required to be listed on the Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment Database (WRRD), comprised of BOTW and RR Sites Map.

In the coming months, RR Program staff will continue to remove “GIS Registry” from our forms and documents. Most of the RR Program web pages are already updated. If you have any questions please contact Jenna Soyer, the Fiscal and Information Technology section chief, at 608-267-2465 or Jenna.Soyer@wisconsin.gov.

Snapshot: July PECFA Financials and FY18 Total

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides monthly updates on the status of Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) claims and the overall PECFA budget. Below are the updated PECFA numbers for July 2018 and the total for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018).

Number Value
Claims Received 133 $947,426
Claims Paid 80 $813050
Claims in audit line (as of June 2018) 70 $318,846
Total Paid FY18 $5,859,948

 

Two Hydrogeologist Positions Open in Northeast DNR Office

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program has two Hydrogeologist positions to fill in the Northeast office, located in Green Bay. The positions will be filled at either the entry level or senior level, depending on the position and the candidate’s qualifications.

See job announcement for details on position descriptions and how to apply. The deadline to apply for either position is August 30, 2018.

The candidate for the senior level position will provide geologic and hydrogeologic expertise and oversight for investigation and remediation of contamination sites. The candidate will provide interpretation and implementation advice on the rules, regulations and guidance documents concerning environmental investigations and clean-ups as well as brownfield redevelopment efforts. Duties include evaluating and approving work on complex sites often having program-wide policy impacts.

The candidate for the entry level position will provide technical advice and recommendations regarding environmental programs to management, co-workers, other Department programs, State agencies, local communities and the public. The primary duty and responsibility of this position is to support and provide recommendations to the RR Program at the regional level. There are two entry level positions to choose from: with or without the limited responsibility of back up Regional Spill Coordinator for the RR Program.

Coastal Management Grants Available – Informational Workshops Scheduled

Wisconsin’s coastal communities are encouraged to apply for grants from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP). The WCMP is currently accepting proposals to enhance, preserve, protect and restore resources within the coastal zone – counties adjacent to Lakes Superior and Michigan – and anticipates awarding up to $1.5 million.

Applications for the WCMP grants are due November 2, 2018. Three workshops are planned in the coming days to discuss the grant application process and funding priorities.

Tuesday, August 21
1:30 p.m.
Port of Milwaukee
2323 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee
Milwaukee

Thursday, August 23
1:30 p.m.
Neville Public Museum
210 Museum Place
Green Bay

Tuesday, September 4
1:30 p.m.
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
29270 County Highway G
Ashland

The WCMP Grants are available for coastal wetland protection and habitat restoration, nonpoint source pollution control, coastal resource and community planning, Great Lakes education, public access and historic preservation.

Applicants are encouraged to contact WCMP staff early to discuss ideas for project proposals and application requirements.

Application materials and the Request for Proposals are available on the WCMP website or if you have specific questions, you can call the WCMP at 608-267-7982.