Cleanup Tools

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.

Examples of some of the free TAB services that can be provided to your community, upon your request and the availability of service providers, include:

  • Assistance with inventory and prioritization of sites for redevelopment.
  • Guidance in finding and contracting with environmental firms.
  • Identification of potential funding sources and assisting with introductions to federal agencies
  • Strategic planning and redevelopment visioning workshops.
  • Economic feasibility and sustainability analysis.
  • Technical presentations, workshops and seminars on brownfields-related topics.
  • Independent review and summarization of technical documents.
  • Pre-review of draft grant applications for EPA brownfield funding.
  • Community outreach liaison service between you, state or federal agencies, or other entities.

For more information, and to learn how TAB professionals can help your community, contact:

Maggie Egbarts
maggiejessie@ksu.edu
(785) 532 0762

Margaret Renas
mrenas@delta-institute.org
(312) 651-4335

Material Management Activity Type Now Available in BRRTS

A new tracking code entitled, Material Management (MM), has been created within the Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) to identify sites and facilities that have accepted contaminated soil or other solid waste with an exemption from certain solid waste program requirements through Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15.

BRRTS numbers assigned to the MM activities codes will have a ‘15’- prefix.  Only the main actions (e.g., an interim or remedial actions) and continuing obligations (e.g., engineering control for direct contact threats) directly related to the material management activity will be tracked as an MM activity on the receiving site or facility.  All interim or remedial actions involving Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718 materials management will be concurrently tracked at the ERP or LUST source property where the contaminated material was excavated.  The exception would be for continuing obligations imposed on the site or facility receiving the material.

The MM tracking code was created to allow the public to use BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) to clearly identify sites or facilities where contaminated soil and other solid waste was received and how it is being managed.  For actions approved by DNR in April 2018 and forward, BOTW can be used to search for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12/718.15 exemption was granted.  Only actions directly related to Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and 718.15 materials management will be listed in each MM activity, allowing users to efficiently obtain information specifically related to these activities.

An MM activity will be opened for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption was granted after March 29, 2018.    At this time, the DNR does not intend to retroactively create MM activities at sites or facilities where Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemptions were previously granted due to workload challenges.

Any questions regarding this process may be addressed to Paul Grittner at (608) 266-0941 or paul.grittner@wisconsin.gov.

Public Input Opportunity – Soil Management Guidance for Cleanups

The RR Program seeks your input on a revised, draft publication entitled “Clean Soil Management: A Self-Implementing Option for Soil Excavated During a Response Action under Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 700 through NR 750” (RR-103). This draft guidance was revised based on comments received from the public. This revision is much narrower in scope than the last version that was sent out for public comment.  This guidance is different than, but related to, the NR 718 contaminated soil guidance.

In particular, this guidance is intended solely for use by responsible parties (RPs) who are managing soil excavated as part of a response action pursuant to Wis. Stats. ch. 292 and Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 – 754.

The guidance does not apply to soil excavated as part of a construction project, utility project or transportation project.  However, if those projects also involve an NR 700 response action, this guidance only applies to the soil excavated as a direct result of the response action.

This draft guidance provides an optional approach for responsible parties and their environmental consultants to use when soil is characterized and excavated as part of a response action (i.e., cleanup action), and the soil does not need to be managed at a licensed solid waste facility or through a site-specific exemption in Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 718 or the NR 500 rule series. This document provides responsible parties (RPs) more clarity on what types of substances – if identified in soil – could generally be managed as “clean soil” in accordance with state law without the department’s pre-approval or tracking.  However, the person placing or accepting the soil would need to comply with limited locational criteria. The department believes that providing this guidance will help responsible parties and their environmental consultants to save money, and make more timely and consistent decisions on how to manage this type of excavated soil during a Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 700 cleanup action.

The document can be reviewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/guidance.html and comments can be submitted through May 13, 2018 to the Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief, Christine Haag at Christine.Haag@wisconsin.gov. In addition, the RR Program will host a question and answer session on this guidance scheduled for April 20, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the DNR’s public meetings calendar (dnr.wi.gov search “public meetings”).  Externals are encouraged to provide written comments, as formal note taking will not capture comments during the listening session. Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Christine Haag (christine.haag@wisconsin.gov) if planning to attend.

REMINDER: Avoid Case Closure Problems; Use Latest Version of Closure Form

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program asks consultants to use the most recent version of the Case Closure Request Form (4400-202), updated in August 2016, which can be found on the Program’s Environmental Professionals web page. Use of this form to request case closure is required by Wis. Admin. Code § NR 726.09(1)

Accessing the form via the link on the web page ensures that you are using the most up-to-date version, which in turn assists with meeting the requirements for an “administratively complete” submittal.

REMINDER: PECFA’s New Mailing Address

This is a reminder that the Remediation and Redevelopment Program will cease using P.O. Box 8044 for PECFA submittals on June 30, 2018, and will consolidate all incoming mail into our current program-wide mailbox:

Wisconsin DNR – RR/5
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

Please use this mailing address for all PECFA claim submittals. The address has been updated on all forms.

Snapshot: March PECFA Financials

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides a monthly update on the status of claims and the overall budget of the Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) award program.

Below are the updated PECFA claim numbers for March 2018.

  Number Value
Claims Received 124 $534,063
Claims Paid 146 $786,043
Claims in audit line (as of March 31) 21 $110,487
Total Paid FY18   $3,067,763

Updated Off-Site Liability Exemption Publication Now Available

The RR Program recently updated a fact sheet on the state’s off-site environmental liability exemptions, When Contamination Crosses a Property Line: The Off-Site Environmental Liability Exemption – Wis. Stat. §§ 292.12 and 292.13, Rights and Responsibilities of Off-site, Affected Property Owners, RR-589 Please recycle old versions of this DNR document and reference to the updated document moving forward.

The update also includes content from and  replaces, a publication titled, What Homeowners, Lenders and Realtors should know about Off-site Contamination, RR-927. More information about the off-site exemption, and RR Program contacts, are available on the DNR’s  web page, Off-site contamination – contamination that crosses property lines.

Demolitions Done Right

Redeveloping old commercial and industrial properties often involves the demolition of buildings and other structures. In addition to carefully evaluating potential asbestos abatement and demolition contractors, the DNR recommends reviewing the agency’s “demolition, construction and renovation” web page to access important information about statutory and regulatory requirements related to demolition activities. Asbestos, lead, mercury and PCBs are top concerns.

Two key publications include, WA-651: Planning your demolition or renovation project, and AM-366: What you need to know about renovation and demolition.

Completion and submittal of Form 4500-113: Notification for Demolition and/or Renovation is always required, at least 10 days prior to the demolition work.

RR Program Hydrogeologist Helps Lead National HRSC Webinar

Already a national leader in cleanup and redevelopment projects, the Wisconsin DNR’s RR Program is about to gain some additional national attention when hydrogeologist David Swimm co-presents a webinar in February with the US EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST).

The webinar will present various case studies which demonstrate how to apply high resolution site characterization (HRSC) strategies using direct sensing geophysical tools deployed through direct push technologies (DPT) and interpretive techniques to support and improve remediation decisions at sites.

David will present this HRSC webinar along with Tom Kady, and environmental engineer with the US EPA’s Environmental Response Team. Swimm holds BS and MS degrees in Geology from the UW–Madison and West Virginia University, respectively. His graduate work at WVU emphasized geophysical detection of shale gas reservoirs and seismic signal analysis. Following 12 years working in the oil and gas industry, David spent the last 23 years working as a professional hydrogeologist in Wisconsin; first, for private consulting firms specializing in landfill and industrial waste investigations and clean-ups, and later for several state agencies.

Swimm currently works for the DNR’s Policy and Technical Resource Section with the RR Program, specifically addressing detailed NAPL delineation and remedy selection.

This online training is part of OUST’s broader effort to provide technical assistance and ensure that states and tribes are successful as they continue to clean up leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 20, from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. CST. Registration is currently open and is accessible at https://clu-in.org/conf/tio/HRSC/.

The webinar will be archived on the Clean-Up Information (CLU-IN) website.

Any questions about the webinar can be directed to Queenie Mungin-Davis at the US EPA (mungin-davis.queenie@epa.gov or 202-564-0685).

US EPA Can Help Remove Contaminants at Abandoned Properties

The US EPA can help your community take care of abandoned or otherwise derelict properties that contain drums, barrels and other containers filled with hazardous substances. EPA staff will evaluate the site, analyze the chemicals and search for anyone involved in abandoning or disposing of the hazardous materials on the property.

If a responsible party is located, EPA will work with them to remove and clean up the hazardous materials. If no responsible party is found or the party is unable to complete the work, EPA may directly perform actions needed to address imminent threats. EPA seeks cost recovery from responsible parties whenever appropriate.

At smaller sites, municipalities can conduct the response action themselves and recover costs from EPA through the Local Governments Reimbursement Program. Reimbursement can include such costs as materials and supplies, renting or leasing equipment, special technical and laboratory services, evacuation services, decontamination of equipment, overtime pay for employees, and replacement of equipment that is lost or destroyed.

Contact John Sager, Federal Removals Coordinator at DNR, to see if a property in your community may be eligible for EPA assistance. His phone number is (715) 392-7822, and his email address is John.Sager@wisconsin.gov.