Created in the state budget as a one-year project to help the governor, legislators and state agencies further understand the unique challenges of taking on the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, the Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group now celebrates 20 years as a state and national model for stakeholder involvement.
The group is comprised of local government officials, academia and representatives from the private sector, and is facilitated by Department of Natural Resources staff.
Continue reading “Brownfields Study Group Celebrates 20 Years”
The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program seeks your input on the Usual & Customary (U&C) Task Reference Guide #24 (RR-100) and U&C Schedule #24 (RR-10a). Both documents are available on the Wisconsin DNR’s proposed program guidance web page.
Comments on these documents are due by June 25, 2018, and may be directed to Jenna.Soyer@wisconsin.gov.
Document updates include new tasks for vapor point installation, guidance on excavations over $10,000, and an update to private utility locate reimbursable costs. Please see the public comment cover sheet for details.
The Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides a monthly update on the status of Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) claims and the overall budget of the PECFA award program. Below are the updated PECFA numbers for May 2018.
|Claims in audit line (as of May 31)
|Total Paid FY18
A crowd of nearly 100 people attended the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s recent conference, Brownfields for Local Government Officials, held May 10, 2018 in Stevens Point.
The one-day conference spanned a host of land recycling issues, but did not include the technical topics often reserved for other events. Throughout the day, participants heard from developers, local government colleagues, and others about the tools and strategies to capitalize on underused, or even abandoned, properties.
The day began with an overview of the DNR’s Brownfields Program, including explanations of the financial aid and technical assistance that staff can provide. Other sessions included panel discussions with program staff (formerly private sector consultants) and with experienced developers familiar with the unique requirements of brownfields redevelopment.
Attendees also heard from local government leaders about devising county-wide redevelopment plans, state-assisted cost recovery mechanisms, and both state and federal brownfields assistance programs, including the Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) program, a joint effort through the EPA and Kansas State University.
Conference presentations can be found in the program’s Training Library.
A similar conference will be held again in 2020.
Join the DNR and Minnesota Brownfields on Aug. 1, 2018, in La Crosse, for a free, full-day workshop on writing successful EPA grant applications. Get the information you need to know to compete effectively for these funds, and get a head-start on your proposal for the fall grant opportunity.
Wisconsin communities, and the DNR, have been awarded millions of dollars in brownfields grant funds by the EPA over the past decade. It is clearly possible to obtain these dollars, but your grant application package has to be very good to stand out and get funded. Tips and strategies from experts will be shared at this workshop.
New federal legislation, referred to as the BUILD Act, makes changes to several aspects of brownfields law, including more clarity for local governments on how to obtain federal liability protections, and more flexibility in the EPA grant program. Learn about these changes and more.
Who should attend? Local and regional government officials, not-for-profit economic and community development organizations, tribes, and any other entity interested in applying for federal grants to assist with the assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment of under-performing commercial and industrial properties in their community.
More information about the workshop is available HERE, and a link to the registration form is available HERE (button near top-right of web page). We hope you can join us!
Please note that the “consultant data record form” mentioned in Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 734 is no longer used to create a “consultant qualification list” for consultants interested in providing professional services to the department. Projects undertaken by the RR program using state funds follow State of Wisconsin procurement laws (i.e. simplified bidding, request for bids, request for qualifications, and requests for proposals depending on the project type and scope), and these requests are posted on VendorNet for all consultants. The RR program does maintain a list of consultants who self-identify as those who are available to provide environmental services (RR-024). This list is available to the public. If you would like to be added to this list, please contact Deena Kinney at Deena.email@example.com.
The RR Program would like to clarify that when submitting revisions to a closure submittal as requested by the DNR project manager, the consultant need only submit the revised pages (both paper and electronic copies) to the DNR project manager and the regional email box. This will save both the consultant and DNR project manager time in reviewing only the necessary information. In order to ensure that revisions are properly tracked, consultants are asked to initial and date all pages of any revisions submitted. Guidance for Submitting Documents (RR-690) was updated to reflect this clarification (Case Closure Submittals #6 on page 3).
Oak Creek City Attorney Larry Haskin addresses the media and members of the Natural Resources Board during an August 2017 tour of Lake Vista Park in Oak Creek.
The city of Oak Creek plans to officially unveil its newest park this summer. It’s a prime location of nearly 100-acres that overlooks Lake Michigan and is the former site of a chemical plant that left a history of contamination when it closed.
The decades-long environmental cleanup was completed in 2014 using the DNR’s Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program. The VPLE program provided an incentive for the industrial owner to complete a cleanup that allowed the city to transform this former lakefront industrial site into a stunning new park with majestic views of the nearby lake.
You can listen to the story by Milwaukee Public Radio.
For more information about the DNR’s VPLE program, please contact Michael.Prager@wisconsin.gov.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields program provides direct grant funding to local governments and other entities for environmental assessment activities, cleanup work, and the capitalization of revolving loan funds. New grant application guidelines are announced each year in the fall, typically in October, and applicants usually have around eight weeks to complete and submit their application.
Competition for these grants is strong, and the total amount of funding available is limited to about $50 million nationwide each year. Many Wisconsin communities and the DNR have obtained brownfields grant funds from the EPA over the past 15 years.
Continue reading “EPA ARC Grants Preparation & BUILD Act”
Every year, in the fall, the EPA offers a new opportunity for local governments and others to obtain grant funds for environmental assessments, revolving loan funds, and property cleanup work (“ARC”). It is good to get started early on your grant application package, well before the official EPA announcement is made in the fall.
One of the EPA’s national outreach and assistance contractors is hosting a free “head-start” grant writing webinar on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT. The title of the webinar is “Writers of the Best ARC.” In addition to tried-and-true tips and techniques, along with hard lessons learned, the webinar is offering grant writing advice from expert grant writers from around the country.
Get a head start on the ARC grant application period, and learn about recent federal legislative changes that may affect the EPA guidelines this fall. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3941484594013599491
In addition, the EPA periodically hosts general grant award process webinars. More information on these presentations is available at https://www.epa.gov/grants/epa-grants-award-process-webinars.