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Comment and Review of Statement of Scope Concerning Regulation of Fire Fighting Foam

The Department of Natural Resources will hold a preliminary public hearing on Statement of Scope SS 015-20 related to the creation of chapter NR 159 to promulgate emergency and permanent rules concerning the regulation of firefighting foam that contains certain contaminants, at the time and place shown below.

Hearing Information

  • Date: June 4, 2020
  • Time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: Online via Skype link

The public has the opportunity to testify at the hearing. Comments on the scope statement must be received on or before June 4, 2020. Written comments may be submitted by U.S. mail, E-mail, or through the internet and will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearing.

Written comments and any questions on the scope statement should be submitted to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Kate Strom Hiorns – WA/5
P.O. Box 7921
101 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7921

Or via email to: KathrynM.StromHiorns@wisconsin.gov

The Statement of Scope may be reviewed at: https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/ProposedPermanent.html

 

EPA Brownfields Awards to Three Wisconsin Communities

Three Wisconsin communities will receive a total of $2.1 million in brownfields awards. The grants come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ARC Grants Programs – Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup. Green Bay and Washington County both stand to receive $800,000; Brillion will receive $500,000.

The grants will provide those communities with needed assistance as they work to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes.

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Natural Resources Board Considers Emergency Rule May 27

On May 27, 2020, the department will present proposed emergency rules to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for adoption. The proposed emergency rules implement statutory financial assurance requirements that apply to certain types of sites with contaminated sediment. When available, the proposed emergency rule board order RR-11-17E will be posted online as part of the NRB’s agenda.

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DNR Solicitation of Economic Impacts on Proposed Revisions to chs. NR 700 to 799

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently developing revisions to Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-799, Environmental Protection – Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination, and seeks your feedback on the economic impacts of these proposed rule revisions.

The DNR is proposing these rule revisions to attain consistency with statutory revisions made by 2017 Wis. Act 70 and 2015 Wis. Act 204, including revisions relating to contaminated sediments, and to update references and clarify requirements and procedures as needed since the last set of rule revisions became effective in 2013.

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Wisconsin DNR Offers Environmental Compliance Roadmap – All state laws and regulations remain in effect

Wisconsin DNR Environmental Compliance Roadmap

Under Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will prioritize responding to imminent threats or complaints related to public health, safety and the environment over routine, on-site audits and inspections.

The regulated community can go here for a one-stop location to request case-by-case assistance due to likely compliance issues associated with COVID-19. All state laws and regulations remain in effect, unless otherwise suspended by the governor.

The DNR is committed to doing what we can to help those impacted by COVID-19 while continuing to protect environmental quality, public health and safety. The DNR is sensitive to the challenges posed to its regulated community, such as wastewater and air permittees and landfill license holders.

All entities should make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations. Where full compliance may not be possible due to COVID-19, the DNR created an environmental compliance roadmap for regulated entities.

The DNR advises businesses or local governments having a spill or a compliance problem that poses an imminent or actual threat to health or the environment to report it immediately by calling toll free 1-800-943-0003 and selecting “1.” This number is monitored 24 hours a day.

For non-emergency situations, the DNR is providing this online process as a means for the regulated entities to request advance compliance assistance from the DNR. This process should be initiated by directly emailing the main DNR contact for the facility or by using the online web form to request case-by-case compliance assistance.

The DNR will monitor these systems daily during regular business hours. Where safe compliance alternatives are approved in advance by the DNR, regulated entities will be required to maintain records adequate to document implementation of authorized alternative compliance options.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. Distance is key during this public health emergency.

Under the Safer at Home order, we must do all that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staying home as much as possible and limiting travel to your community is the best way to lower COVID-19 infection rates.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest updates, visit the DNR website or follow @WIDNR on Facebook, @wi_dnr on Instagram, or @WDNR on Twitter.

For specific information regarding the COVID-19 we encourage the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

 

COVID-19 update on Submittals and PECFA

As we continue operations under Gov. Evers’s COVID-19 Safer at Home order, please understand that most DNR staff are teleworking and may have limited access to files and delayed online connectivity. Additionally, all non-essential travel is prohibited. We strongly encourage customers to communicate with their DNR project manager via email.

Submit Electronically

Customers are strongly encouraged to submit reports electronically through the Submittal Portal. DNR is temporarily suspending the requirement to submit one paper copy of each plan or report under § NR 700.11 (3g), including hard copies of case closure packets.

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Consultants’ Day 2020 Events Postponed

Due to Gov. Evers’s COVID-19 Safer at Home order, the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program’s Consultants’ Day 2020 conferences in Stevens Point and Pewaukee are postponed indefinitely. The health and safety of our customers, colleagues and staff is our top concern.

If you have already registered for either event – April 29 in Stevens Point or May 13 in Pewaukee – you will soon receive a full refund from our registration partners at UW-Stevens Point.

The RR Program is considering future dates or alternative delivery methods for these events. Information will be shared via the RR Report as soon as it becomes available.

DNR Seeks Hydrogeologist Program Coordinator for State Lead Projects

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources seeks a well-qualified candidate to fill a State Projects Manager (Hydrogeologist Program Coordinator) position in the Division of Environmental Management. This position will be stationed in the DNR’s Madison office, located at 101 S. Webster Street.

The deadline to apply for the position is March 22, 2020.

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Consultants’ Day 2020 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Consultants’ Day 2020, hosted by the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program.

Consultants’ Day 2020 keynote speaker Ginny Yingling.

Consultants’ Day 2020 features two conferences this spring: the first event will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Stevens Point at the Holiday Inn Conference Center; the second event will held on Wednesday, May 13 in Pewaukee at the Ingleside Convention Center.

To register, and learn more about the conferences, please visit the RR Program’s Conference and Training web page.

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WAM Awards Granted to Langlade County and Antigo for Cooperative Project

Two brownfields cleanup projects in Antigo are getting financial assistance in the form of grants from the Department of Natural Resources.

The financial awards come from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for eligible sites. The DNR awarded the grants to the city of Antigo and Langlade County for two neighboring sites near the intersection of Edison Street and 1st Avenue.

“DNR is proud to partner with the city of Antigo and Langlade County as they work to address environmental concerns associated with these two properties,” said DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s Brownfields, Outreach and Policy Section Chief Jodie Peotter. “Often, WAM grants are able to kick-start a project and may be used as leverage against other grants or loans.”

The neighboring properties that were awarded grants face each other from opposite sides of 1st Avenue. The southern property, located at 915 1st Avenue, is occupied by a vacant building that was formerly Care Partners Assisted Living. The vacant building is being considered for future use as a sober living facility for women. The second property that will receive a grant is located across 1st Avenue to the north at 1020 Edison Street. Redevelopment is anticipated to include a similar sober living facility for men.

Both properties are located along an abandoned railroad yard and maintenance facility that was discontinued from service in the late 1970s. The grants for contractor services will help Antigo and Langlade County officials determine whether environmental contamination exists at the properties.

Since 2009, the WAM program has provided more than $2.5 million to 61 communities across the state, partnering to help clean up and redevelop old, often run-down or underused properties that distract from a community’s potential.

Administered by the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination. The program is funded through a U.S. EPA brownfields assessment grant.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no local financial match, WAM is an attractive opportunity for communities to gain knowledge of environmental conditions. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.

Applications for WAM assistance may be submitted at any time. The DNR uses WAM funding to assess brownfields throughout the state, concentrating on industrial sites and closed, or closing, manufacturing plants. WAM awards are also made for sites that may not have had a history of manufacturing but are in rural areas, racially diverse communities or economically disadvantaged areas.

For more information about WAM or other cleanup award programs from the RR Program, visit the DNR’s WAM webpage or the brownfields webpage.