Brownfields Redevelopment

Application Deadline Extended to May 29 for Brownfields Section Chief Position

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking a qualified and talented pool of candidates for the Remediation & Redevelopment (RR) Program’s Brownfields Policy and Outreach Section Chief position.

The deadline to apply for this position is now May 29, 2019. The position is based in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Brownfields Opportunity Zones: TAB Webinar on May 21

There are a lot of financing tools and incentives available to communities for tackling the challenges of financing brownfields redevelopment. From tax-exempt bonds to district-based financing to revolving loan funds, the financing for brownfields redevelopment is often layered with multiple financing tools to produce the final project capital stack. With the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, communities now have a new federal incentive in their toolbox – Opportunity Zones.

Through a special partnership with KSU TAB, CCLR, and CDFA, webinar panelists will explore how communities are preparing themselves for Opportunity Zone investments. Speakers will also examine how communities across the U.S. are integrating these new strategies with current and future redevelopment plans, with a specific focus on brownfields sites.

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Site Investigations Basics; TAB Webinar on May 2, 2019

Register today for a free webinar about the environmental assessment and investigation of real property and how the results of these processes impact redevelopment options.

The webinar is May 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. (CST), and is sponsored by the National Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can register here: https://www.ksutab.org/education/webinars/details?id=352.

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Requests for DNR “Acknowledgment Letter” Due January 18

If you plan to apply for an FY2019 EPA brownfield grant, you have until Friday, January 18 to request your letter of acknowledgment from the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program as part of your federal grant application.

To learn how to get a DNR letter of acknowledgment, and other useful information, visit the DNR Federal brownfield grants web page.

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DNR Interim Decision on Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) Program and Emerging Contaminants

Wisconsin’s Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program allows a person to clean up a property and receive an exemption from future liability for historic contamination. Once cleanup is complete, the VPLE Certificate of Completion (COC) provides liability protection for the owner of the property. It is also transferrable to future owners. Since 1995, the DNR has issued 186 COCs. Eighty-three voluntary parties are currently pursuing a VPLE COC.

Recent concerns over emerging contaminants, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) chemicals in Wisconsin and nationally have prompted the DNR to evaluate the potential for historical discharges of PFAS and other emerging contaminants at properties enrolled in the VPLE program that are pursuing a COC.

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Kansas State TAB Program Offers EPA Grant Review

With the competitive nature of securing an EPA Multipurpose, Assessment, or Cleanup (MAC) grant, it doesn’t hurt to have an objective review of your grant application. (See Nov. 30 RR Report article regarding EPA MAC Grants)

The Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) program at Kansas State University provides such a review of your MAC grant proposals. The review is available for applicants in EPA Regions 5 through 8.

Staff at “K State” request at least a week’s notice that you will be sending a draft of the MAC application for review. The review is free of charge and can usually be turned around within a few days.

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Apply Now for 2019 EPA Brownfield Grants

Applications for 2019 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfield grants are now being accepted. The Request for Proposals and the Application Guidelines officially open the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant competition. Applications for these grants are due January 31st, 2019.

Grants offered by the EPA Brownfields Program may be used by local governments, tribes and non-profit organizations to address known or suspected contaminated sites. In March of 2018 the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act was enacted. The BUILD Act reauthorized EPA’s Brownfields Program and made several important changes that affect the grant programs that are described on the EPA Grants web page.

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DNR Brownfields Annual Accomplishments Report Now Available

The Wisconsin DNR’s final report summarizing efforts and accomplishments funded by a US EPA Section 128(a) Grant is now complete and available online.

The report, prepared by the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program’s Brownfields and Outreach section, highlights the work and major accomplishments that program staff and partners achieved during the September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018 grant year.

Previous reports, including the recent mid-year update on 128(a) funded efforts, are also available on the RR program’s website.

“Our staff put a lot of time and effort into working on brownfields cleanup and redevelopment projects and policies throughout the year. We’re proud to present this comprehensive report on those efforts and we’re grateful to the US EPA for providing funds to help us with those projects,” said Christine Haag, Brownfields and Outreach section chief.

DNR’s Natural Resources Magazine Highlights Spill Law, Brownfields Study Group

2018 marks the anniversaries of two things that shape and guide the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program: the Spill Law (Wis. Admin. Code Ch. 292) and the Brownfields Study Group. It’s the 40th anniversary of “292,” while the Study Group celebrates 20 years.

Both are highlighted in this article in the current edition of the DNR’s Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

Many of our RR Report readers have played a role in helping to shape Wisconsin’s brownfields policies, and have done the work to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The DNR recognizes your efforts, appreciates the partnerships, and looks forward to another successful 40 years.

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.