General Program Announcements

NR 700 Reporting Due Jul. 30

Semi-annual reporting for the period of Jan. 1, 2022 to Jun. 30, 2022 is due by Jul. 30, 2022. 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 Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) online database. Consultants may submit these reports on behalf of RPs.

The DNR will send an email with a unique Report Identification (ID) number to contacts of sites listed in the database during the first week of January 2022. If you do not receive an email by Jul. 7, 2022, you can request a Report ID number by submitting the Report ID Request Form.

The Report ID number uniquely identifies the activity you can report, the reporting period and verifies the person using the Report ID is authorized to submit the report. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Zeichert at Timothy.Zeichert@wisconsin.gov or 608-219-2240.

State law requires semi-annual reports from people who meet the definition of a responsible party in NR 700. Property owners, such as local governments that have an exemption under Wis. Stats. §§ 292.11(9)(e) or 292.23, and lenders that have an exemption under Wis. Stats. § 292.21 for specific properties are not required to submit a semi-annual report for those exempt properties under state law.

Sites formerly classified by the DNR as “conditionally closed” are open sites that have not been granted case closure and, by definition, have remaining action(s) needed (e.g., properly abandoning monitoring wells or investigative waste needing to be removed).

Semi-annual reporting for sites formerly classified as “conditionally closed” should indicate what actions are being taken to complete the remaining actions.

The next reporting period is from Jul. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022.

DNR To Hold First Remediation And Redevelopment External Advisory Group Meeting

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host its first meeting of the Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 15, 2022.

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program oversees the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination and the redevelopment of contaminated properties. The DNR has a business need to receive constructive and practical input from, and provide information to, interested parties on a wide variety of regulatory and policy issues.

The Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group was formed to address a broad range of issues encompassing both technical and policy topics related to encouraging the investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites.

The Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group meetings are open to the public.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group Meeting
When: 9 a.m. – noon Friday, July 15, 2022
Where: State Natural Resources Building Room G09
101 S. Webster Street, Madison, WI 53703
Enter from Webster Street and take the hallway to the right to the reception desk.
Register here to join the meeting via Zoom.

Visit the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group webpage for meeting agendas, materials and additional information. Subscribe here for updates on future meetings.

Ben Vondra Joins Remediation And Redevelopment Program

Ben Vondra will take on a management position with the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Beginning June 20, 2022, Vondra will become the new chief of the State and Federal Programs section stationed in Madison. The State and Federal Programs section is responsible for the administration of the RR Program’s budget, including federal grants, intergovernmental funding agreements, and state-funded projects and programs.

Vondra comes to the DNR from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, where he served as the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program Administrator, developing and implementing grant programs funded by Wisconsin’s $67 million Volkswagen trust fund. In 2020, Ben was tapped to help implement the governor’s COVID-19 pandemic response and relief grant program, totaling over $900 million in federally funded grants.

RR Program Seeks Mechanical/Remediation Engineer

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting a Mechanical/Remediation Engineer.

This position may be located in the DNR’s Madison, Rhinelander, Antigo, Green Bay, Baldwin or Milwaukee office. Other DNR locations may possible based on space availability and managerial approval. The deadline to apply is June 29, 2022.

This position will be responsible for providing site-specific, engineering evaluations and project reviews for remediation sites throughout Wisconsin. Work will include providing mechanical engineering and project management services relating to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of vapor intrusion systems, and management of other environmental systems associated with methane, air deposition, utility gas migration, and remedial excavations. This position will also provide assistance to regional staff, local government units, lenders, owners, and potential purchasers of brownfield properties for regulatory compliance with the applicable federal and state laws. The work will include troubleshooting and evaluation services, as well as optimizing support for vapor mitigation systems, including vapor control by HVAC systems, ventilation of underground parking structures, sewer gas migration, and new construction requirements.

A full position description, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 6481).

RR Program Seeks State Projects Coordinator

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting a State Projects Coordinator.

This position may be located in the DNR’s Madison, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Rhinelander, Oshkosh or Waukesha office. Other DNR locations may possible based on space availability and managerial approval. The deadline to apply is June 29, 2022.

The State Projects Coordinator provides programmatic expertise and technical oversight for investigation and remediation of complex contamination sites, providing direction for state directed response sites across Wisconsin. The position will serve as the statewide coordinator and project manager for a majority of the state funded response remediation projects, responsible for scope development, procurement, oversight of contractors, review of technical documents, and budget oversight. This position will also provide support to regional staff with scoping, budgeting, coordination and oversight of regional state lead sites. This position reports to the State and Federal Programs Section Chief and is expected to participate in applicable regional review meetings and adhere to regional approval and tracking processes.

A full position description, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 6458).

Update on Lawsuit RE: Regulation of PFAS Under Spills Law

On April 12, 2022, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Bohren issued a decision regarding the DNR’s authority to regulate “emerging contaminants” (including PFAS compounds) as hazardous substances under the Spills Law. The DNR has appealed the decision.

On June 7, 2022, Judge Bohren granted the DNR’s request for a stay of his decision for the duration of the appeal process. The stay allows the department to continue under the Spills Law to work with responsible parties whose sites are contaminated by PFAS. The stay also means that Wisconsinites with private wells contaminated with PFAS who are currently receiving emergency bottled water may continue to receive a source of safe drinking water while the department appeals the order.

Given that the case remains pending in litigation, the DNR has no further comment.

Public Input Opportunity – Publications RR-502, Guidance: Selecting A Qualified Environmental Consultant And Form 4400-328, Cover Page – Transfer Of Responsibility For Continuing Obligations

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is now seeking input on two publications: RR-502, Guidance: Selecting a Qualified Environmental Consultant and Form 4400-328, Cover Page – Transfer of Responsibility for Continuing Obligations.

RR-502

The purpose of RR-502 is to help responsible parties and others understand how to select a qualified environmental consultant to investigate and clean up soil, groundwater, sediment and other contaminated environmental media per Wisconsin Statute chapter (Wis. Stat. ch.) 292 and Wisconsin Administrative (Wis. Admin.) Code chs. NR 700-799. Hiring a qualified environmental consultant is needed to investigate and remediate your property in accordance with local, state and federal rules.

The document can be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Program Guidance” tab. Comments may be submitted through April 6, 2022 to Barry Ashenfelter at Barry.Ashenfelter@wisconsin.gov or DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov.

Form 4400-328

Form 4400-328 is a cover sheet template for submittal of legally enforceable agreements between parties transferring responsibility of continuing obligations under Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5)(c) or 292.12(5m)(am).

The document can be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Program Guidance” tab. Comments may be submitted through April 6, 2022 to Jenna Soyer at Jenna.Soyer@wisconsin.gov or DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov.

Best Practices For Finding RR Program Publications and Guidance Documents

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program will be moving all publications and guidance documents to a new server location in March 2022. This will result in a new URL to access these files. The migration will also affect the search results when looking for publications using the magnifying glass search tool found at the top of the DNR website through approximately June 2022.

During this transitional period, the DNR recommends using the search tools found on the publications and forms webpage when looking for an RR publication.

Using the Keyword Search Tool, users can locate a publication by searching for the publication number (beginning with “RR-”) or a word or phrase from the document title or description. A dropdown menu is also available to search by topic.

The Full-Text Search Tool searches documents’ content; you can type a general term or short phrase to find all RR guidance documents containing those words.

Please direct any questions regarding the use of the RR Program’s publications, forms and guidance search web tools to Peggy Frain at margaret.frain@wisconsin.gov.

Reminder – Correct Fee Amounts For NR 700 Submittals

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program reminds responsible parties, consultants and others requesting services to submit correct fee amounts for technical assistance and liability clarification requests.

Wisconsin Administrative (Wis. Admin.) Code ch. NR 749 requires fees for technical review of documents (when required under code or when a response is requested from the DNR) and for clarification of environmental liability.

More information on fees is available on the RR Program’s fee webpage, in RR-966, Remediation and Redevelopment Program Fee Schedule and in RR-997, Guidance: Implementation of Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 749 & NR 750 Fees.

If you need help identifying the required fees for your submittal, please contact the environmental program associate (EPA) in the appropriate regional office (see the EPA tab at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Brownfields/Contact.html).

Fees may be paid by check, electronic funds transfer (EFT/ACH) or credit card.

  • To pay by check, make your check payable to “Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.” Submit your documentation through the RR Submittal Portal and mail the confirmation page generated by the Submittal Portal with your check to the appropriate regional EPA.
  • To pay by EFT/ACH, contact the appropriate regional EPA office before submitting the fee to let them know you are paying by this method to help the EPA match funds to the proper documentation and speed up processing. Follow these instructions to set up the EFT/ACH or wire transfer payment.
  • To pay by credit card, please get in touch with the appropriate regional EPA.

 

RR Program Makes Website Changes To Enhance Customer Service

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program has reconfigured its main landing pages and added redevelopment resources to the RR Sites Map to better serve our customers.

New And Improved Landing Pages

The RR Program oversees the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination throughout the state and provides technical guidance and assistance to responsible parties and environmental professionals.

Equally, the RR Program helps local governments, prospective purchasers, lenders, developers and property owners understand and navigate the redevelopment and revitalization of brownfields, which are properties that are contaminated or suspected to be contaminated.

RR Program has reorganized its website using three separate topic-specific landing pages:

The new Environmental Contamination and Cleanup landing page is geared towards environmental professionals and includes direct links to numerous technical topics and links to the guidance and forms index, the RR Sites Map and the Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS). Environmental professionals should bookmark this new page designed specifically to provide links to the most-sought technical resources.

The Brownfields landing page serves as a toolbox for local governments, prospective purchasers, lenders, developers and property owners. It provides information on the basics of cleaning up and redeveloping a contaminated site and information regarding liability, financial resources, how to schedule Green Team meetings with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and success stories of brownfields redevelopment projects throughout the state.

The Spills landing page provides instruction on reporting hazardous substance spills and discharges in Wisconsin.

Further improvements include prominent links to the RR Submittal Portal and the RR Report newsfeed on each landing page. Users will also now find quick access to public input opportunities and a link to a new external advisory groups page.

Saved or bookmarked pages will continue to work seamlessly; these upgrades only affect the RR Program’s landing pages.

RR Sites Map

RR Sites Map is the RR Program’s GIS mapping application that provides information about remediation and redevelopment activities in Wisconsin. Recently, redevelopment resources were added to help users evaluate sites in relation to socioeconomic data, including links to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Redevelopment Mapper, the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool and the Center for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) Social Vulnerability Index. In addition, layers from the CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index are now available on the map (in the map and data tasks tab, select the layer catalog, then choose Non-DNR Data and Social/Cultural/Economic Information).

The RR Program welcomes your feedback on these improvements. Send your thoughts and suggestions to Jodie Peotter at jodie.peotter@wisconsin.gov.