Cleanup Tools

Updating the Environmental Services Contractor List

One of the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s many publications is the Environmental Services Contractors List, (DNR publication RR-024).

This is a self-identifying list of environmental consultants that the Program maintains and makes available on its “resources for private parties” web page. Also, staff provide this document to people if they ask for a consultant recommendation.

To have your consulting firm added to the document, or to update information that’s already there, please contact Deena Kinney. In your email, provide the following:

  • Name of firm
  • Address
  • City, state, zip code
  • Phone number
  • Fax number (if applicable)

Staff cull the list if they are aware of firm closings, consolidations, or other significant changes. If your contact information requires updating, please let us know.

RR Program Phasing Out the Term “GIS Registry”

The words “GIS Registry” were removed from such popular Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program resources as RR Sites Map, BRRTS on the Web (BOTW), and the Case Closure Form (please note that the content and requirements of the Case Closure form did not change).

This is a deliberate and ongoing effort by the RR Program to update the outdated term “GIS Registry.” Instead, you may see or hear staff refer to the “Continuing Obligations Packet” (formerly the GIS Registry Packet), “database fees” instead of GIS fees, or “the database,” when discussing where to find information about sites with continuing obligations.

Regardless of how it’s stated, all sites with residual contamination and/or continuing obligations are required to be listed on the Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment Database (WRRD), comprised of BOTW and RR Sites Map.

In the coming months, RR Program staff will continue to remove “GIS Registry” from our forms and documents. Most of the RR Program web pages are already updated. If you have any questions please contact Jenna Soyer, the Fiscal and Information Technology section chief, at 608-267-2465 or Jenna.Soyer@wisconsin.gov.

Updated Case Closure Reconsideration Guidance Now Available

The RR Program recently updated the fact sheet Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 726 Case Closure Reconsideration Process (RR-102). The DNR’s responses to comments received during the public comment period for the draft are available on the DNR website until August 20, 2018.

The purpose of this document is to provide responsible parties (RPs) with guidance on the opportunities available to engage the department to receive feedback on the adequacy of the Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-754 response actions undertaken and submitted by the RP to document case closure. This guidance presents the process and feedback opportunities available if case closure is not recommended by the department. This general process is referred to as the case closure reconsideration process.

More information about case closure is available on the DNR’s web page, Resources for Environmental Professionals.

Environmental Liability Exemptions for Local Governments – Related to Redevelopment

Counties, cities, villages and towns, along with RDAs, CDAs, other local governmental units, can fairly easily obtain environmental liability exemptions, civil immunity, and cost recovery authority in Wisconsin when taking title to unproductive/abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

These protections are explicitly authorized by multiple sections in Wis. Statutes Ch. 292, and are designed to enable local governments to take action to stimulate redevelopment activities at contaminated or potentially contaminated properties when the private market is not providing enough capital and economic activity to achieve the desired level of community improvement on its own.

Remediation and Redevelopment Program staff are available to help local government officials understand and use these robust statutory tools, as well as identify financial assistance opportunities for environmental investigation and cleanup work. The DNR’s Green Team meetings are a good way to get started on your first, or next, redevelopment project.

The DNR publication Local Government Environmental Liability Exemptions in Wisconsin (RR-055) provides an overview of several local government environmental liability exemptions, and lists types of documentation that the DNR typically requests to confirm that the exemption is in effect.

New Features for RR Sites Map

RR Sites Map is the online companion to the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment database of known environmental contamination and cleanup cases in Wisconsin. It allows users to find sites visually and geographically, and then drill down into the database for further details, if desired. 

RR Sites Map Screenshot

RR Sites Map is part of the DNR’s Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment Database (WRRD), an inter-linked system tracking information on different contaminated land activities.

RR Sites Map works on desktop computers, phones, and other mobile devices. It’s a great way to get information about closed and continuing remediation activities.

The DNR seeks to continually improve user experiences with this application. Recent updates include:

  • Removed the “GIS Registry” layer group. 
    • The term “GIS Registry” was used in the past to refer to sites that were closed with residual contamination. The DNR now uses the term “Continuing Obligations”, along with a list of these obligations in the closure letter, to let the public know residual contamination exists and that some ongoing requirements exist to continue protecting public health. Sites with “Continuing Obligations” now have their own layer.
  • Added the new “Additional Site Information” layer group. 
    • This new layer group includes both the new “Continuing Obligations” layer and preexisting “Impacted Another Property” layer, which identifies sites with migrating contamination. 
  • Added aerial photos from 2017 to the base maps and image slider tool. 
  • Changed the name of the “Contaminated and Cleaned Up Sites” layer group to “Open & Closed Sites.” 
  • Added a “Layer Catalog” button to the data and tasks tab. 
    • After clicking the button, select the desired GIS data layers and they will appear in the left-side layers panel along with the default layer options.
    • New layer options include: DNR office locations; private water well locations; dual aquifers; landfills with 1,200-foot buffers; areas where special well casing is required; and other agency data such as soil types, hydric ratings and drainage classes.

Let us know how you use RR Sites Map, and please share your suggestions for improvement by emailing them to DNRRRBRRTSFeedback@wisconsin.gov.

Consultant Qualification List

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.kinney@wisconsin.gov.

Clarification on Closure Packet Revision Submittals

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).

A Nod to the DNR’s VPLE Program in Coverage of Oak Creek’s New Lake Vista Park

Natural Resources Board tours Oak Creek

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.

 

Got Brownfields? Get a Green Team meeting!

meeting puzzle (transparent background)Teamwork can transform old, dilapidated industrial and commercial properties into economically and socially beneficial community assets. The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program is willing and able to be on your local government team. We have experience with thousands of successful revitalization projects, we have grant and loan funding available, and we can help bring other key stakeholders to your table at any stage of the process. Contact us today to set up a Green Team meeting and get things going.

Free Professional Brownfields Assistance for Local Governments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds professional service providers around the country to help local governments and tribes affected by environmental issues at brownfield properties. These professionals are part of the Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) program and serve as no-cost independent advisors and resource providers for community revitalization efforts.

Wisconsin is fortunate to have two very experienced and talented TAB service providers available to our communities. Margaret Renas, from the Chicago-based nonprofit Delta Institute, is a professional engineer with a great deal of environmental consulting and community redevelopment experience. Maggie Egbarts, from Kansas State University, is the TAB Coordinator for EPA Regions 5 and 7, and has many years of experience in environmental assessment, cleanup, regulatory compliance and revitalization activities.

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