Environmental Contamination

Public Comment Open Now on Glatfelter Settlement to Clean up Fox River

Papermaker P.H. Glatfelter has agreed to pay $20.5 million to reimburse past and future EPA costs to clean up PCBs in Fox River sediment in a settlement with the US EPA and the US DOJ.

The settlement requires Glatfelter to assume responsibility for cleanup tasks, as well as the long-term monitoring and maintenance that will continue for years following dredging and a cap installation that is scheduled to be finished this year.

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NR 700 Semi-Annual Reporting Due Soon

Semi-annual reporting for the period of July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 is due February 1, 2019. Semi-annual reporting is required of responsible parties (RPs) for all “open” sites, including those sites the DNR formerly classified as “conditionally closed” in the BRRTS online database. Consultants may submit these reports on behalf of the RPs.

An email from the DNR with your unique report identification number was sent during the first week of January 2019. If you did not receive an email, you can request a Report ID number by submitting the Report ID Request Form. The Report ID number you will receive uniquely identifies the activity for which you wish to report, the reporting period, and verifies the person using the ID is authorized to submit the report. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Zeichert at (608) 266-5788.

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New Document Submittal Portal for RR Program

The Remediation and Redevelopment program’s new RR Program Submittal Portal is now live and available to use.

The new portal allows consultants and other customers to submit documents required by Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-754 related to the assessment, investigation, cleanup, closure, or redevelopment of contaminated properties.

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Exempt Soil Guidance Available

Exempt Soil Management: A Self-Implementing Option for Soil Excavated During a Response Action under Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 through NR 750 (RR 103) is now available.

This 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. The document provides responsible parties clarity on what types of substances – if identified in soil – could generally be managed as “exempt soil” in accordance with state law without the department’s pre-approval or tracking.

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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.

Soil RCL Calculator Updates – June 2018

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program recently updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the U.S. EPA regional screening level web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the RCLs is in a new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number RR-052g.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Wisconsin DNR’s Resources for Environmental Professionals web page and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

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.

New Vapor Intrusion Guidance Featured on April Issues & Trends Conference Call

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program brings back the Issues & Trends series at noon on April 4 with a conference call regarding the recently published guidance on vapor intrusion.

The guidance, Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation & Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin, RR-800, was revised in January 2018. During the next Issues & Trends event, vapor intrusion team leader Alyssa Sellwood will walk participants through key updates to RR-800 to familiarize callers with the new document. Alyssa will also discuss several topics related to vapor mitigation in greater detail, including mitigation in new construction and the importance of performance verification.

To join the conference call:

  • Dial 1-855-947-8255
  • Enter passcode 6612 745#
  • On April 4, 2018
  • At 12:00 p.m. CST

There is no cost to participate and no pre-registration is required.

Questions or comments in advance can be sent to DNRRRComments@wisconsin.gov. Handouts or any other materials related to the April 4 conference call will be made available in advance at the RR Program’s Conference and Training web page.

NR 700 Technical Focus Group Meeting March 12

The NR 700 Technical Focus Group will meet on March 12 in Madison. This group meets on an as needed basis to discuss technical issues and the application of our NR 700 series of administrative rules to the realities that consultants encounter while working on the investigation and cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination. Any consultant or other interested party may attend to listen or to speak with the DNR about the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.

Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the NR 700 Technical Focus Group website (dnr.wi.gov search “NR 700 technical focus group”). Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Judy Fassbender if planning to attend.

 

Public Input Opportunity – Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712 Certifications

The RR Program seeks your input on a draft document for use by persons who hire and those that provide services associated with conducting certain environmental response actions in Wisconsin. It identifies the professional qualifications and certifications for performing and supervising work required by Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712, and the requirement for certifying specific submittals for actions conducted under Wis. Stat. ch. 292 and Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 – 754. The current version of the rule has been in effect since November 2013 when Wis. Admin. Code § NR 712.03(1) was amended to add the requirement that a “hydrogeologist” also must be licensed as a hydrologist or registered as a geologist with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

The document can be reviewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/guidance.html and comments can be submitted through April 4, 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 the qualification and certification requirements in Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712 as part of the NR 700 Technical Focus Group meeting scheduled for March 12, 2018. Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the NR 700 Technical Focus Group website (dnr.wi.gov search “NR 700 technical focus group”).  Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Judy Fassbender if planning to attend, judy.fassbender@wisconsin.gov.