Environmental Contamination

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-060, Guidance For Management Of Contaminated Soil And Other Solid Wastes – Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and NR 718.15

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-060, Guidance for Management of Contaminated Soil and Other Solid Wastes – Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and NR 718.15, is now posted and available online.

For this document, a sentence that referred to management of asbestos-containing materials on page 2 was removed. In addition, the NR 718 Approval and Process Options approval process for immediate actions involving contaminated soil was modified for clarification (page 5), and the locational requirements (page 12) were updated to include the requirement that a responsible party may not place or replace contaminated soil where it poses a threat to public health, safety, or welfare or the environment.

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.

This guidance is intended for use by responsible parties when excavating contaminated soil and other solid waste that may not warrant disposal at an operating, licensed landfill. This guidance describes several approvals that may be available in such situations.

Questions regarding this document may be submitted to Paul Grittner at Paul.Grittner@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.

 

Natural Resources Board To Consider Proposed Rules For PFAS Standards In Water

The Natural Resources Board (NRB) will consider the adoption of proposed standards for PFAS in drinking water, surface water and groundwater at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022.

Members of the public are invited to share their opinion about these proposed rules by either submitting written comments or speaking at the NRB meeting. All written comments and requests to testify at the meeting must be received by the Board Liaison by 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 16.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment in a variety of ways, including spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants, and use of certain types of firefighting foams.

The NRB sets policy for the DNR and has the authority to approve or reject these rule proposals. Rules that do not receive approval from NRB are no longer considered for adoption. If approved by the NRB, proposed rules are sent to the Governor and State Legislature for final approval and promulgation into Administrative Code. The NRB approval of the statement of scope launched the rulemaking process in October 2019.

Visit the Wisconsin DNR website to learn more about the Natural Resources Board and PFAS.

Dredging Complete At Howards Bay

M/Vs Lee A. Tregurtha and Stewart J. Cort coming into Fraser Shipyards in Howards Bay, a hub for maritime commerce, historical sawmill and grain industries for more than a century. The only U.S. shipyard above the Soo Locks and largest grain elevator in the Duluth-Superior Harbor are located here. Photo Credit: David Schauer

The Great Lakes Legacy Act dredging project in Howards Bay is complete, marking a key milestone in pollution cleanup in the St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC). Howards Bay is an industrial bay in the City of Superior, Wisconsin that’s important for Great Lakes commerce.

The project was performed in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Fraser Shipyards Inc., the City of Superior, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $21.5 million project in the St. Louis River AOC was funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with in-kind and cash contributions from the non-federal partners.

84,660 cubic yards of sediments contaminated with lead, mercury, tributyltin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were removed from Howards Bay and the three slips located within it. Maintenance dredging in the Federal Navigational Channel removed approximately 34,000 cubic yards of sediment.

The completed project provides a healthier aquatic habitat that will improve the overall health of the St. Louis River. It also clears the way for future maintenance dredging to accommodate large vessels entering the shipyard, which had previously been restricted due to contamination in Howards Bay.

Dredged materials that met strict environmental safety criteria were placed on the closed Wisconsin Point Landfill to improve the function and slope of the landfill cap. The dredged materials are covered with six inches of clean material from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Erie Pier facility and then topped with six additional inches of topsoil to help establish native vegetation.

The landfill is being stabilized with hydro-mulch to protect the surrounding environment until permanent vegetation is established in the spring. As part of the project, the City of Superior plans to open the former landfill to the public as a natural area complete with gravel trails, benches and a pavilion.

To learn more about the project click here.

To learn more about the St. Louis River AOC click here.

DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To City Of Beaver Dam

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded a Brownfields Grant to the City of Beaver Dam to assist with the investigation of potential environmental contamination at the site of a former auto dealership and repair shop.

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

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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.

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DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To City Of Altoona

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the department awarded a Brownfields Grant to the City of Altoona.

The grant 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.

Brownfields are abandoned, idle and underused commercial or industrial properties where reuse is stalled by potential contamination. Brownfields vary in size, location, age and past use; they can be anything from a 500-acre former automobile assembly plant to a small, abandoned gas station.

Continue reading “DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To City Of Altoona”

Now Available: 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?

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the 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? are now posted and available online.

The documents can be found here: RR-0126 and RR-0117. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be found using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

Continue reading “Now Available: 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?”