Environmental Contamination

Public meetings for input on proposed emergency rule RR-11-17E

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program will host two public meetings to seek input on the development of revisions to Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700–799, Environmental Protection – Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination.

These meetings will focus on gathering input regarding proposed emergency rules (board order RR-11-17E). The proposed emergency rules implement statutory financial assurance requirements under 2015 Wis. Act 204 that apply to certain types of sites with contaminated sediment.

  • The first meeting will be held via Skype from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
  • The second meeting will be held via Skype from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2020.

If you plan to attend the meeting, please RSVP to Molly Schmidt and specify whether you will attend the first meeting, second meeting, or both meetings.

The Skype links and meeting materials for each meeting are available at: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/RuleChanges.html, along with further information regarding this rulemaking effort.

Public Input Opportunity: PECFA Usual and Customary Cost Schedule #27

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program seeks your input on the Usual and Customary (U&C) Task Reference Guide #27 (Publication RR 0113-E) and U&C Cost Schedule #27 (Publication RR 0113a-E). Both documents are available for review on the Wisconsin DNR’s proposed program guidance web page.

Comments on these documents are due by January 6, 2020, and may be submitted to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov. Please use the subject line: RR-19-0113-D.

Document updates include a number of items related to the investigation and mitigation of vapor intrusion, such as the reimbursement of initial installation and vapor sampling, separating out costs associated with equipment needed to install vapor sampling points, and a new subtask for subsequent vapor sampling events after initial installation and sampling.

Site Investigation “Toolkit” Now Available Online

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program recently developed a web page called the “SI Toolkit” to provide environmental consultants and others with a framework for site investigation (SI) work plans and reports.

The new web page makes documents pertaining to site investigation (guidance, checklists, forms and rules) easy to find in one place. New SI-related guidance and factsheets will be added to this web page as they are developed.

Contact Jane Lemcke if you have questions or suggestions regarding the new SI Toolkit.

Vapor Intrusion: DOD Utility Study, Resources in Spanish and Concerns with TCE

DOD Utility Study

The DNR recently learned about a recent study on vapor migration within utilities. The study, funded by the Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), is titled Sewers and Utility Tunnels as Preferential Pathways for Volatile Organic Compound Migration into Buildings; Risk Factors and Investigation Protocol.

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Proper Monitoring Well Abandonment (“Filling and Sealing”) is Required

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program reminds environmental consultants to follow Chapter NR 141 when abandoning groundwater monitoring wells and boreholes. If not properly abandoned, these wells or holes can pose a risk of environmental contamination.

When abandoning a monitoring well, please keep these details in mind:

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NR 140 Groundwater Quality Standards Update

The following is from DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole:

I wanted you to know that DNR is pleased to report that we continue to make progress on advancing the Governor’s “Year of Clean Drinking Water” initiatives and returning Wisconsin to being a leader in the field of environmental protection.  This morning, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) provided DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) with recommended standards for 27 groundwater contaminants (ch. NR 140 compounds). These recommendations are intended to protect human health and the environment, as part of Wisconsin’s landmark groundwater law, Chapter 160, Wisconsin Statutes. Included in this package are recommended standards for glysophate, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

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Reminders: Case Closure Certification Page Signatures; P.E. Stamp Requirement

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program asks consultants to use the most recent version of the Case Closure Request Form (4400-202), 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).

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New brownfields handbook available from EPA

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a new (June 2019) handbook titled, “Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment.” This 14-page publication is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/anat_bf_redev_101106.pdf.

The handbook provides a good overview of the issues, challenges, and opportunities associated with old and unproductive commercial and industrial properties that may have environmental contamination. It also describes various process steps and best practices for local governments to consider when taking on a brownfield property.

More Wisconsin-specific brownfield cleanup and reuse information is available from DNR at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/ and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/lgu.html and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/brownfields/GreenTeam.html.

Comprehensive Per- and poly-fluoroaklyl (PFAS) Legislation Proposed

Today, Governor Evers and Secretary Cole accompanied Senators David Hansen (Green Bay) and Mark Miller (Monona) to announce one of the most comprehensive bills in the nation to address contamination by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This bill (LRB-2297/2), if passed, will protect public health as well as the air, waters and lands of Wisconsin.

What would the legislation do?

  • This bill requires the Department of Natural Resources to establish and enforce various standards for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
  • The PFAS group of substances includes several thousand chemicals (4,000+); two of the most well-known are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS).
  • The bill requires DNR to establish, by rule, the following:
    • acceptable levels and standards,
    • monitoring requirements, and
    • required response actions for any PFAS.
  • Applies to all media:
    • in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, air, solid waste, beds of navigable waters, and soil and sediment, if the department determines that the substance may be harmful to human health or the environment.
  • These rules must cover, at a minimum, PFOA and PFOS, as well as perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA).
  • In recommending a groundwater enforcement standard for a perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substance, the department of health services may recommend individual standards for each substance, a standard for these substances as a class, or standards for groups of these substances.

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New Fillable PDF Form for Materials Management Plan

A new, fillable PDF form has replaced RR-072. The new form is 4400-315: Recommended Template for Request to Manage Materials under Wis. Admin. Code § NR 718.12 or NR 718.15

The purpose of this form is to provide an optional template format for consultants and responsible parties to demonstrate the proposed management of solid waste material qualifies for a Wis. Admin. Code § NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption and to request written approval of the request.

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