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Public Input Opportunity – Five-Year Review of the Kohler Co. Landfill Superfund Site

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now seeking input on the Five-Year Review of the Kohler Co. Landfill Superfund Site.

The public notice can be found at the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Public Notices” tab. Comments may be submitted through Aug. 3 to BJ LeRoy at BJ.LeRoy@wisconsin.gov.

NR 700 Reporting Due Jul. 30

Semi-annual reporting for the period of Jan. 1, 2022 to Jun. 30, 2022 is due by Jul. 30, 2022. Semi-annual reporting is required of responsible parties (RPs) for all open sites, including those sites the DNR formerly classified as “conditionally closed” in the Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) online database. Consultants may submit these reports on behalf of RPs.

The DNR will send an email with a unique Report Identification (ID) number to contacts of sites listed in the database during the first week of January 2022. If you do not receive an email by Jul. 7, 2022, you can request a Report ID number by submitting the Report ID Request Form.

The Report ID number uniquely identifies the activity you can report, the reporting period and verifies the person using the Report ID is authorized to submit the report. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Zeichert at Timothy.Zeichert@wisconsin.gov or 608-219-2240.

State law requires semi-annual reports from people who meet the definition of a responsible party in NR 700. Property owners, such as local governments that have an exemption under Wis. Stats. §§ 292.11(9)(e) or 292.23, and lenders that have an exemption under Wis. Stats. § 292.21 for specific properties are not required to submit a semi-annual report for those exempt properties under state law.

Sites formerly classified by the DNR as “conditionally closed” are open sites that have not been granted case closure and, by definition, have remaining action(s) needed (e.g., properly abandoning monitoring wells or investigative waste needing to be removed).

Semi-annual reporting for sites formerly classified as “conditionally closed” should indicate what actions are being taken to complete the remaining actions.

The next reporting period is from Jul. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022.

DNR To Hold First Remediation And Redevelopment External Advisory Group Meeting

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host its first meeting of the Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 15, 2022.

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program oversees the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination and the redevelopment of contaminated properties. The DNR has a business need to receive constructive and practical input from, and provide information to, interested parties on a wide variety of regulatory and policy issues.

The Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group was formed to address a broad range of issues encompassing both technical and policy topics related to encouraging the investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites.

The Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group meetings are open to the public.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group Meeting
When: 9 a.m. – noon Friday, July 15, 2022
Where: State Natural Resources Building Room G09
101 S. Webster Street, Madison, WI 53703
Enter from Webster Street and take the hallway to the right to the reception desk.
Register here to join the meeting via Zoom.

Visit the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group webpage for meeting agendas, materials and additional information. Subscribe here for updates on future meetings.

DNR’s Database Of Remediation And Redevelopment Activities Can Help Local Governments

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains a public database of locations with remediation and redevelopment activities in Wisconsin.

The database is referred to as the DNR’s Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System on the web. A visual display of much of the information is available on the web-based mapping system, RR Sites Map.

Over 95,000 properties are in included in the database. Contaminated sites (i.e., the physical area of environmental contamination) affect properties in all counties and in approximately 95% of all cities, towns and villages in Wisconsin. The system includes links to numerous letters, reports and other information about the properties.

The DNR encourages local governmental units to use the database and RR Sites Map to identify contaminated and cleaned up properties within their communities. Information from the database and RR Sites Map may be useful to local governments when:

  • Identifying potential health and safety concerns in the community
  • Evaluating potential real estate transactions (e.g., conducting due diligence activities prior to the initiation of condemnation, tax foreclosure and other property acquisitions efforts)
  • Considering issuance of permits or approving plans for development – this includes understanding the status of contamination at sites where the cleanup is complete because residual contamination may affect the allowed uses and redevelopment options for a property, or require ongoing maintenance (e.g., caps over contaminated areas)
  • Reviewing proposed public works and utility projects to determine feasibility and whether contaminated material needs to be managed
  • Understanding the status of the property within the cleanup process, including what types of contamination is present, what needs to be done to satisfy regulatory requirements, and who is responsible for completing the necessary work

DNR staff are also available to help. Local governments can contact a brownfields specialist or schedule a “Green Team” meeting with DNR to discuss specific properties.

For more information about how to use the database, go to https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Brownfields/botwHelp.html

Free, Professional Services To Help Your Community With Brownfield Properties

Does your community have any run-down, tax delinquent or otherwise derelict properties that you would like to see get redeveloped? Is the reuse of these properties complicated by known or potential environmental contamination? If so, help is available.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds a national program run by Kansas State University that provides free assistance to help communities, tribes and nonprofit organizations get brownfield properties redeveloped.

The program is named the Technical Assistance for Brownfields program, or KSU TAB for short. Contact Beth Grigsby, KSU TAB Regional Coordinator, at 317-601-3839 or bethgrigsbylpg@gmail.com to ask about and apply for services for your community.

KSU TAB Services Include:

  • Help identifying and inventorying brownfields
  • Strategic planning and redevelopment visioning
  • Assistance in identifying stakeholders and partners
  • Economic feasibility and sustainability analysis
  • Educational workshops
  • Community outreach and input
  • Help in identifying funding sources
  • Resource roundtables, funding strategies
  • Review of grant applications
  • Assistance with the use of the TAB EZ tool to write individual grant applications
  • Help finding and evaluating environmental consultants
  • Assistance with request for qualifications (RFQs), request for proposals (RFPs) and evaluation criteria
  • Review of plans and technical reports
  • Assistance with understanding results of Phase I, II environmental site assessment reports and cleanup plans

The DNR also has staff who can help your community with brownfield properties. More information and resources about brownfield redevelopment in Wisconsin is available on the DNR’s brownfields webpage or by contacting DNR brownfields staff.

Ben Vondra Joins Remediation And Redevelopment Program

Ben Vondra will take on a management position with the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Beginning June 20, 2022, Vondra will become the new chief of the State and Federal Programs section stationed in Madison. The State and Federal Programs section is responsible for the administration of the RR Program’s budget, including federal grants, intergovernmental funding agreements, and state-funded projects and programs.

Vondra comes to the DNR from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, where he served as the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program Administrator, developing and implementing grant programs funded by Wisconsin’s $67 million Volkswagen trust fund. In 2020, Ben was tapped to help implement the governor’s COVID-19 pandemic response and relief grant program, totaling over $900 million in federally funded grants.

U.S. EPA Releases New Health Advisory Level for PFAS

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated Health Advisory Level (HAL) for four perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds.

We appreciate the EPA’s ongoing work to assess PFAS contamination in the environment. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services will continue to coordinate a review of EPA’s advisory levels to assess how it will impact prior recommendations.

At this time, for sites where there has been a discharge of PFAS to the environment, the HALs are not cleanup standards, but may be one factor considered when developing case-by-case remedial objectives based on site-specific information.

The issuance of these HALs by the EPA acknowledges the significant health risks associated with PFAS and reinforces that efforts taken to reduce the level of PFAS in drinking water will reduce risks to human health.

Earlier this year, Gov. Evers launched a voluntary sampling program for municipal public drinking water systems. This program – which communities may still register for here – enables leaders and residents to gather data about PFAS in their drinking water.

Wisconsin expects to receive more than $800 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to provide loans and grants to communities working to treat and mitigate exposure to PFAS.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants, and use of certain types of firefighting foams.

Visit the Wisconsin DNR website to learn more about measures undertaken to mitigate PFAS contamination in Wisconsin, including creating and implementing the PFAS Action Plan.

DHS Publishes “TCE in the Workplace” Fact Sheet

When environmental contamination presents potential human health risks, the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources (DNR) works closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments.

In February 2022, DHS published TCE in the Workplace, a fact sheet on health concerns associated with trichloroethylene (TCE) in various work environments. TCE in the Workplace helps workers understand the health risks where TCE is being used in a facility and may be helpful during vapor intrusion investigations. It is available in English, Spanish and Hmong.

The fact sheet includes suggestions to keep workers safe, as well as workplace guidelines for exposure limits by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the DNR.

The DHS fact sheet TCE in the Air is also available to assist with communicating the health risks of TCE in situations when contamination has the potential to cause vapor intrusion in nearby structures (e.g., residences, day cares). Since publication, the DNR, DHS and environmental consultants have been providing TCE in the Air to off-site property owners to educate them about the health risks associated with TCE while working to gain access, perform vapor intrusion investigations and install mitigation systems. TCE in the Air is available in English and Spanish.

Links to the fact sheets are available under the “Health” tabs on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals and Vapor Intrusion webpages.

Site-specific questions regarding vapor intrusion in Wisconsin should be directed to the assigned DNR Project Manager. General questions can be directed to the contacts listed on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage.

RR Program Seeks Mechanical/Remediation Engineer

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting a Mechanical/Remediation Engineer.

This position may be located in the DNR’s Madison, Rhinelander, Antigo, Green Bay, Baldwin or Milwaukee office. Other DNR locations may possible based on space availability and managerial approval. The deadline to apply is June 29, 2022.

This position will be responsible for providing site-specific, engineering evaluations and project reviews for remediation sites throughout Wisconsin. Work will include providing mechanical engineering and project management services relating to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of vapor intrusion systems, and management of other environmental systems associated with methane, air deposition, utility gas migration, and remedial excavations. This position will also provide assistance to regional staff, local government units, lenders, owners, and potential purchasers of brownfield properties for regulatory compliance with the applicable federal and state laws. The work will include troubleshooting and evaluation services, as well as optimizing support for vapor mitigation systems, including vapor control by HVAC systems, ventilation of underground parking structures, sewer gas migration, and new construction requirements.

A full position description, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 6481).

RR Program Seeks State Projects Coordinator

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting a State Projects Coordinator.

This position may be located in the DNR’s Madison, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Rhinelander, Oshkosh or Waukesha office. Other DNR locations may possible based on space availability and managerial approval. The deadline to apply is June 29, 2022.

The State Projects Coordinator provides programmatic expertise and technical oversight for investigation and remediation of complex contamination sites, providing direction for state directed response sites across Wisconsin. The position will serve as the statewide coordinator and project manager for a majority of the state funded response remediation projects, responsible for scope development, procurement, oversight of contractors, review of technical documents, and budget oversight. This position will also provide support to regional staff with scoping, budgeting, coordination and oversight of regional state lead sites. This position reports to the State and Federal Programs Section Chief and is expected to participate in applicable regional review meetings and adhere to regional approval and tracking processes.

A full position description, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 6458).