Author: elisabethkuisis

Demolitions Done Right

Redeveloping old commercial and industrial properties often involves the demolition of buildings and other structures. In addition to carefully evaluating potential asbestos abatement and demolition contractors, the DNR recommends reviewing the agency’s “demolition, construction and renovation” web page to access important information about statutory and regulatory requirements related to demolition activities. Asbestos, lead, mercury and PCBs are top concerns.

Two key publications include, WA-651: Planning your demolition or renovation project, and AM-366: What you need to know about renovation and demolition.

Completion and submittal of Form 4500-113: Notification for Demolition and/or Renovation is always required, at least 10 days prior to the demolition work.

RR Program Hydrologist Helps Lead National HRSC Webinar

Already a national leader in cleanup and redevelopment projects, the Wisconsin DNR’s RR Program is about to gain some additional national attention when hydrogeologist David Swimm co-presents a webinar in February with the US EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST).

The webinar will present various case studies which demonstrate how to apply high resolution site characterization (HRSC) strategies using direct sensing geophysical tools deployed through direct push technologies (DPT) and interpretive techniques to support and improve remediation decisions at sites.

David will present this HRSC webinar along with Tom Kady, and environmental engineer with the US EPA’s Environmental Response Team. Swimm holds BS and MS degrees in Geology from the UW–Madison and West Virginia University, respectively. His graduate work at WVU emphasized geophysical detection of shale gas reservoirs and seismic signal analysis. Following 12 years working in the oil and gas industry, David spent the last 23 years working as a professional hydrogeologist in Wisconsin; first, for private consulting firms specializing in landfill and industrial waste investigations and clean-ups, and later for several state agencies.

Swimm currently works for the DNR’s Policy and Technical Resource Section with the RR Program, specifically addressing detailed NAPL delineation and remedy selection.

This online training is part of OUST’s broader effort to provide technical assistance and ensure that states and tribes are successful as they continue to clean up leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 20, from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. CST. Registration is currently open and is accessible at https://clu-in.org/conf/tio/HRSC/.

The webinar will be archived on the Clean-Up Information (CLU-IN) website.

Any questions about the webinar can be directed to Queenie Mungin-Davis at the US EPA (mungin-davis.queenie@epa.gov or 202-564-0685).

US EPA Can Help Remove Contaminants at Abandoned Properties

The US EPA can help your community take care of abandoned or otherwise derelict properties that contain drums, barrels and other containers filled with hazardous substances. EPA staff will evaluate the site, analyze the chemicals and search for anyone involved in abandoning or disposing of the hazardous materials on the property.

If a responsible party is located, EPA will work with them to remove and clean up the hazardous materials. If no responsible party is found or the party is unable to complete the work, EPA may directly perform actions needed to address imminent threats. EPA seeks cost recovery from responsible parties whenever appropriate.

At smaller sites, municipalities can conduct the response action themselves and recover costs from EPA through the Local Governments Reimbursement Program. Reimbursement can include such costs as materials and supplies, renting or leasing equipment, special technical and laboratory services, evacuation services, decontamination of equipment, overtime pay for employees, and replacement of equipment that is lost or destroyed.

Contact John Sager, Federal Removals Coordinator at DNR, to see if a property in your community may be eligible for EPA assistance. His phone number is (715) 392-7822, and his email address is John.Sager@wisconsin.gov.

Congratulations to RR Program Staff Award Winners

Congratulations to the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) staff and teams that were recognized with achievement awards during the Wisconsin DNR’s Environmental Management Division’s 3rd Annual Awards ceremony, held in January.

RR staff received five awards for individual or team accomplishments during the past year, FY 16-17:

  • Nancy Ryan, Project Manager, Southeast Region (see photo). Remediation and Redevelopment Program Employee of the Year.
  • Sonya Rowe, IT Project Coordinator, Central Office (see photo). Environmental Management Division Employee of the Year.
  • John Robinson (retired), Northern Region RR Team Supervisor (see photo). EM Division Supervisor of the Year.
  • Spills Team. EM Division Team of the Year. (Members include: John Sager, Rick Joslin, Mike Schmoller, Ted Amman, Trevor Nobile, Pat Collins, Matt Thompson, Steve Mueller, Phil Richard and David Woodbury.)
  • RR Program Records Management Team. EM Division Team of the Year. (Members include: Sonya Rowe, Darsi Foss, Jenna Soyer, May Vang, Christine Haag, John Robinson, Shelley Fox, Lee Delcore, Raquel Sanchez, Dave Rozeboom, Danielle Wincentsen, Kathleen Shafel, Denise Danelski, Wendy Weihemuller, Deena Kinney and Chue Yee Yang.)

The RR Program staff and teams were recognized for superior achievements and contributions to the RR Program, the Division and to the Agency.

Nancy Ryan (center), RR Program Employee of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Pam Mylotta, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

Nancy Ryan (center), RR Program Employee of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Pam Mylotta, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

Sonya Rowe (center), EM Division Employee of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Jenna Soyer, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

Sonya Rowe (center), EM Division Employee of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Jenna Soyer, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

John Robinson (center), EM Division Supervisor of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Mary Robinson, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

John Robinson (center), EM Division Supervisor of the Year, with (l to r) Darsi Foss, Mary Robinson, Bart Sponseller, Pat Stevens

Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program Has Authority to Regulate Emerging Contaminants – including, PFAS Compounds

Chemicals that have seen industrial use for decades are now beginning to be better understood by scientists and others concerned with their potential impacts to human health and the environment. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFASs) are a class of emerging contaminants known to impact environmental media, such as groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water.

Additional information about PFASs can be found on the EPA’s web page, the ITRC’s collection of fact sheets and through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

When discharged to the environment, PFAS compounds meet the definitions of hazardous substance and/or environmental pollution under Wis. Stat. § 292.01. Discharges of PFASs to the environment are subject to regulation under Wis. Stat. § 292 and the requirements for immediate notification, investigation, and remediation in Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 through 754.

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Updated Vapor Intrusion Guidance Now Available

Following two years of effort and collaboration with external partners to update guidance on response actions for vapor intrusion, the Remediation and Redevelopment Program is pleased to announce that the document, Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation and Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin (PUB-RR-800), is available to the public. (To see the DNR’s responses to comments received during the public comment period for the draft, please visit click this link.)

Page one of updated publication

Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation and Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin, DNR publication RR-800

The guidance relates to the assessment, remediation and mitigation of the vapor intrusion pathway at contaminated sites in Wisconsin, for both chlorinated and petroleum substances.

Among numerous updates, the new guidance incorporates the changes made to the Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. NR 700 in 2013. It also includes information found in the EPA’s 2015 vapor intrusion guidance documents, and it provides additional details on mitigation, including principles found in the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) 2017 national standard on vapor mitigation, SCM-SF-2017).

The RR-800 guidance was most recently updated in 2010.

Questions or comments about the new guidance can be addressed to Alyssa Sellwood.

Soil RCL Calculator Updates

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program has updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the recently-updated U.S. EPA regional screening level (RSL) web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the direct-contact RCLs can be found in the new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number DNR-RR-052f.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

External Advisory Groups Help Guide, Shape DNR Policy

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program puts to good use the skills and knowledge of its customers by working together in a collaborative manner through a number of External Advisory Groups (EAG). In fact, it’s one of the core values of the agency. And with funding from the US EPA’s 128(a) grant, the Brownfields and Outreach Section assists these groups with messaging and keeping customers and the public informed.

Now in its 20th year of advising the agency is the Brownfields Study Group (BSG). The study group is one of the oldest EAGs, created in 1998 at the direction of the Governor and State Legislature to evaluate Wisconsin’s brownfields initiatives and recommend improvements, as well as propose additional incentives for brownfields redevelopment. The BSG continues to drive important brownfields policy changes in Wisconsin and among its successes can count the creation of the Site Assessment Grant Program, which awarded more than $18 million to more than 200 communities before it was transferred to a different agency. The group was also instrumental in developing the One Cleanup Program Agreement with Region 5 EPA, the most comprehensive agreement of its kind, which helps expedite cleanups of properties across the state.

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