Cleanup Tools

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Comprehensive Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Training June 2 and 14

The Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) will offer online, comprehensive vapor intrusion training based on recent, technical guidance from the national group.

The upcoming live webinars will cover the purpose and use of the Dec. 2020 comprehensive web-based series of technical resources for Vapor Intrusion Mitigation.

Staff from the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program participated in the development of both the technical resources and training.

The training consists of a series of eight modules on the sections listed below and will be presented over two, two-hour sessions:

  • Thursday, June 2, 2022 (noon to 2 p.m. CST)
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022 (noon to 2 p.m. CST)

Environmental professionals are encouraged to register and participate.

A link to the ITRC’s web-based document is posted on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals website under the “Guidance and Forms” tab. This document includes an interactive directory that includes 10 fact sheets, 16 technology information sheets, and four checklists, covering the following topics specific to vapor intrusion mitigation:

  • Conceptual site model
  • Public outreach
  • Rapid response and ventilation (for acute risk)
  • Active mitigation
  • Passive mitigation
  • Remediation and institutional controls
  • Design considerations
  • Post installation considerations
  • Operation, maintenance and monitoring/exit strategy
  • Emerging technology

While the documents are designed to assist state regulators, they also serve to raise awareness with environmental consultants and other industry professionals.

The online sessions will be repeated on Nov. 3 and 15, 2022. If watching the training through on-demand video playback is preferred, you can find the same vapor intrusion trainings here.

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 website.

Now Available: Publication RR-502, Selecting an Environmental Consultant

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-502, Selecting an Environmental Consultant, is now posted and available online.

The document can be found here. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program can be identified using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

The purpose of the guidance is to help responsible parties, local governments, developers, and others understand the key role that environmental consultants play in the assessment, investigation, and cleanup of contaminated properties in Wisconsin, and help these parties identify qualified consultants for their projects.

Questions regarding this document may be submitted to Barry Ashenfelter at Barry.Ashenfelter@wisconsin.gov

Now Available: Publication RR-0128, Green Team Assistance for Contaminated Properties

The publication RR-0128, Green Team Assistance for Contaminated Properties, is now posted and available online.

The document can be found here. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be found using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

The purpose of the guidance is to provide information about DNR’s Green Team meetings, which are an effective and efficient way for local governments to evaluate options, plan for and work through a brownfield project.

Questions regarding this document may be submitted to Barry Ashenfelter at barry.ashenfelter@wisconsin.gov.

Wisconsin Vapor Quick Look-Up Table Updated

Updated publication RR-0136, Guidance: Wisconsin Vapor Quick Look-Up Table is now posted and available online.

The document can be found on the Vapor Intrusion for Environmental Professionals webpage. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be found using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

The document lists select volatile organic compounds frequently encountered at remediation sites; it is updated periodically based on updates to inhalation toxicity data, generally semi-annually when the U.S. EPA updates its table (last updated in November 2021). Consultants should compare vapor data for open sites to the updated table for potential additional actions and should routinely reference the webpage for the most recent version.

The February 2022 version includes the removal of infrequently used chemicals:

  •  Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE),
  • 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene (TMB),
  • 1,3,5-TMB, and
  • Xylene (m, o and p separately)

Consultants should compare vapor data for chemicals not available on Wisconsin’s Vapor Quick Look-Up Table directly to the U.S. EPA’s Vapor Intrusion Screening Level Calculator; instructions are included on Wisconsin’s Vapor Quick Look-Up Table.

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.

 

Brownfields Fundamentals: Cleanup Collaboration Leverages Funding

The benefits of cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield properties are significant. Returning underused and unsightly commercial and industrial properties back to productive use protects public health and promotes community vitality.

State and federal financial assistance for brownfield revitalization is available in many forms for local governments. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can help your community put all the pieces together, address environmental contamination and move these projects forward.

Gather Your Team

Once you identify one or more brownfield properties in your community that will likely sit empty for years without local government involvement, contact the DNR to request a Green Team meeting with brownfield specialists. The DNR staff can help your community in many ways, including:

  • Identifying property acquisition methods that give liability exemptions to local governments;
  • Managing liability concerns throughout the cleanup process;
  • Understanding the process of assessing, investigating and cleaning up brownfield properties; and
  • Identifying and explaining financial assistance options.

In addition to bringing the right people to the project conversation, a Green Team meeting will help your community understand how to get started and identify potential funding sources that work well together. Local governments can request as many Green Team meetings as needed to fully understand the technical cleanup path to site closure, and an adjacent funding strategy. The DNR understands that brownfield properties are a burden for local governments and wants to help repurpose these properties.

Assess Brownfield Properties With DNR Contractor Service Grants

Environmental assessment, performed by qualified private sector environmental professionals, is typically the first phase of the brownfield property remediation and reuse process. Financial assistance programs that are frequently paired are the Wisconsin Assessment Monies program (WAM), managed by the DNR, and the Site Assessment Grant (SAG) program, offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

WAM is a contractor services award program that funds Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, up to $35,000. Limited site investigation work may also be funded at some properties. SAG funds environmental assessment and demolition activities.

When applications from local governments are timed right, funding sources can combine to provide broad coverage of environmental assessment needs. The DNR’s WAM award disbursements can also be used to meet WEDC’s SAG financial match requirements.

Clean Up Brownfield Properties With State Loans And Grants

Following site assessment and investigation activities at a property, cleanup work may be needed. With a good plan in place and consistent communication with the DNR, contamination cleanup funding sources can be secured by local governments and lined up to keep the work progressing without delay.

The DNR’s Ready for Reuse revolving loan fund program provides 0% interest-free loan funding for environmental remediation activities. In some situations, partial loan forgiveness is also possible.

The Brownfields Grant Program offered by WEDC can fund site investigation activities, remediation work and subsequent environmental monitoring.

Like the assessment funding programs, the DNR’s Ready for Reuse loans and WEDC’s Brownfields Grants complement each other to provide broad coverage of cleanup needs. They help keep remedial work progressing toward site closure and, when coordinated, can be leveraged to cover match requirements, which minimizes out of pocket expenses for local governments.

Cleaning up and redeveloping a brownfield property takes time, but with Green Team help from the DNR and the support of state financial partners, a successful redevelopment is possible. Many communities have effectively cleaned up and repurposed brownfield properties (see Brownfield Success Stories). The DNR is happy to help you and your community with your cleanup and redevelopment efforts. Request a Green Team meeting and start the conversation today!

Now Available: Publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters, is now posted and available online.

The document can be found here. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be found using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

RR-619 describes when general liability clarification letters, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 292.55, may be helpful and how parties can request a general liability clarification letter from the DNR.

Questions regarding these documents may be submitted to Michael Prager at Michael.Prager@wisconsin.gov.

New Community Resource For Vapor Intrusion Evaluation

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now offering an online resource tool for local governments, neighborhood associations and property owners to evaluate sources and minimize the risks of vapor intrusion from historical dry-cleaning operations in their communities.

For much of the 1900s, dry cleaning was a common business especially in Iarge cities where the service could be found on almost every commercial block. The disposal or spilling of cleaning solvents used by historical dry cleaners, long before current waste management laws were in effect, may have resulted in chemical vapors in the ground that can migrate into present-day buildings.

Continue reading “New Community Resource For Vapor Intrusion Evaluation”

DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To Village Of Johnson Creek

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the department awarded a Brownfields Grant to the Village of Johnson Creek.

The financial award is from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for the environmental assessment and cleanup of eligible brownfields sites.

Continue reading “DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To Village Of Johnson Creek”

Public Input Opportunities – Publication RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m), and Publication RR-0117, Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water?

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is now seeking input on two publications: RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m), and RR-0117, Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water?

Continue reading “Public Input Opportunities – Publication RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m), and Publication RR-0117, Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water?”

Public Input Opportunity – Publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is now seeking input on the publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters.

The guidance document describes when general liability clarification letters, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 292.55, may be helpful and how parties can request a general liability clarification letter from the DNR.

The publication can be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance web page under the “Program Guidance” tab.

Comments may be submitted through October 28, 2021 to Michael Prager at Michael.Prager@wisconsin.gov or to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov.