General Program Announcements

Public Input Opportunity for DNR Publication Guidance on Addressing Contaminated Sediment Sites in Wisconsin (RR-0124)

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is now seeking input on the publication Guidance on Addressing Contaminated Sediment Sites in Wisconsin (RR-0124).

The purpose of this guidance is to outline approaches for investigating and remediating hazardous substances discharges that impact sediment to comply with the requirements in Wisconsin Statutes (Wis. Stat.) ch. 292 and the applicable provisions of Wisconsin Administrative (Wis. Admin.) Code chs. NR 700-799. This guidance explains the steps recommended for assessment of contaminated sediment, evaluation of remedial options and the selection, design, implementation and monitoring of remedial actions. This guidance will clarify closure requirements at sites with contaminated sediments, including continuing obligations, long term stewardship and financial assurance.

The document can be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Program Guidance” tab. Comments may be submitted through Jan. 11, 2023 to Carrie Webb at Carrie.Webb@wisconsin.gov or DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov.

Public Input Opportunity for DNR Publications – Guidance: Voluntary Party Exemption Liability (RR-0141), Guidance: Registering and Removing Underground Storage Tanks (RR-627), Guidance: Environmental Contamination & Your Real Estate (RR-973)

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program is currently seeking input three publications:

Guidance: Voluntary Party Exemption Liability (RR-0141)
RR-0141 provides information about the voluntary party liability exemption (VPLE), which was created by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1994 when Wisconsin Statutes § 292.15 was enacted to aid in the redevelopment of brownfield properties.

Submit comments to Michael Prager or to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov by Dec. 7, 2022.

Guidance: Registering and Removing Underground Storage Tanks (RR-627)
RR-627 outlines responsibilities for underground storage tanks and suggests best practices for registering and removing them.

Submit comments to Barry Ashenfelter or to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov by Dec. 7, 2022.

Guidance: Environmental Contamination & Your Real Estate (RR-973)
RR-973 provides information to help property owners understand the impact contamination may have on the market value of their property and the legal obligations they have should the property be sold in the future.

Submit comments to Barry Ashenfelter or to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov by Dec. 7, 2022.

The documents may be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Program Guidance” tab.

DNR To Hold Remediation And Redevelopment External Advisory Group Meeting

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a series of Remediation and Redevelopment External Advisory Group (RR EAG) subgroup meetings on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022.

The RR EAG 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 in Wisconsin.

The RR EAG identifies issues and topics of interest that may be addressed by ad hoc subgroups. Subgroup members are expected to research and develop recommendations on the selected topics for presentation to the full group. RR EAG subgroup meetings are open to the public.

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.
In-person attendees should RSVP to Jody.Irland@wisconsin.gov by noon on Thursday Dec. 8.

When:

Visit the DNR’s RR EAG webpage for meeting agendas, materials and additional information. Subscribe here for updates on future meetings.

Remediation and Redevelopment Program 128(a) Year-End Report Available

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program’s year-end report, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 128(a) Grant Final Report (RR-0142), is now available on the About the RR Program webpage.

The report highlights work undertaken within the latest funding year under the CERCLA Sec. 128(a) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The RR Program utilizes its CERCLA Sec. 128(a) grant to enhance its state response program and fulfill public record requirements. In addition, the grant is used to support state programs and designated federal programs under the jurisdiction of the RR Program, by supporting outreach, site discovery and redevelopment tools such as:

  • Hands-on assistance, like Green Team meetings, which empower local governments to tackle brownfields redevelopment
  • The Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program
  • General liability assistance
  • Conferences and training
  • Policy development to address emerging issues
  • Continuing obligation audits
  • Online site information including BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) and RR Sites Map
  • Public/private partnerships for continuous program improvement

Reporting period highlights include activities related to Vapor Intrusion Prevention & Partnership (VIPPI) Toolkit, local government outreach with Brownfields Fundamentals, and continued protection through continuing obligations audits at closed sites.

Additional CERCLA Sec. 128(a) reports can be found on the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s webpage.

National Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Offers Free Webinar on MARC Grant Applications

The National Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) is offering a free webinar on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at 1 p.m. CDT titled Enhance Your Chance: What You Need to Know to be Competitive in the FY23 EPA MARC Grant Competition. The webinar is focused on how to prepare an application for the U.S. EPA Brownfields FY2023 Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) grants.

The webinar will provide insight on eligibility, common application mistakes, addressing timely criteria, narrative criteria tips, special considerations for each type of application and the TAB tools and resources available to assist with applications. A Q&A session for attendees will also be included.

Register for the webinar at https://www.ksutab.org/events/webinars/details?id=550.

Updated Case Closure Request Form (4400-202) Available

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program updated its Case Closure Request Form 4400-202 to clarify under which circumstances Wisconsin Administrative (Wis. Admin.) Code ch. NR 749 database fees should be submitted and to provide updated information regarding electronic submittals.

The updates only affect page 1; no other changes were made to the form. Anyone submitting a new case closure request must use the updated form per Wis. Admin. Code § NR 726.09(1). If you previously submitted a case closure request with the correct fee, you do not need to provide an updated page 1 with a resubmittal. Please contact the regional team supervisor if you have questions regarding your case closure request.

Issues & Trends Webinar on Nov. 16, 2022: Passive Air Sampling for Vapor Intrusion

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program shares that the next webinar in the Issues & Trends series will take place on Nov. 16, 2022, from noon-1 p.m.

The scheduled presentation is Passive Air Sampling for Vapor Intrusion.

The webinar will spotlight changes in recommendations for vapor intrusion sampling (e.g., longer duration passive sampling in lieu of evacuated canister sampling for vapor intrusion investigations).

Colder temperatures and the indoor heating season are the preferred conditions for conducting vapor intrusion sampling. In anticipation of increased sampling during the winter months, DNR staff will provide the latest recommendations for sampling methods for soil gas, sanitary sewer and sewer cleanouts, indoor air and sub-slab vapor.

Additional topics addressed during the webinar will include a review of the health risk concerns and randomly timed 8-hr or 24-hr samples, different passive samplers, considerations when selecting appropriate samples and how to evaluate the data.

Environmental consultants working on sites with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly chlorinated solvent sites, are encouraged to attend.

A Zoom web conferencing registration link may be found on the RR Program’s Conferences and Training webpage.

Recordings of previous Issues & Trends webinars may be found in the RR Program’s Training Library.

State Acknowledgement Letter for EPA Grants: State Deadline & New EPA Requirement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for FY23 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) & Cleanup (MARC) Grants. The deadline for applications is Nov. 22, 2022.

If your community or organization intends to apply for an FY23 MARC Grant, the EPA requires grant applicants – except tribal entities – to obtain a state acknowledgement letter from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The letter acknowledges that the state is aware of the community or organization’s application for a federal grant and intent to conduct brownfield assessment or cleanup activities.

New EPA Requirement for Cleanup Grants. A new EPA requirement for cleanup grant applicants affects the state acknowledgment letter for cleanup grants. Cleanup grant applicants must demonstrate that a proposed property was sufficiently characterized and is ready for the cleanup to begin (or will be ready to begin by June 15, 2023). For any requested state acknowledgement letters for cleanup grants, the DNR may describe:

  • The general status of a property in the state’s contaminated site cleanup process
  • The enrollment eligibility of the property in the voluntary party liability exemption program
  • The specific site characterization and remediation status of the property, as listed in BRRTS, as well as the status of submittals and any requested DNR technical reviews

Request a DNR Acknowledgement Letter by Nov. 4, 2022. Send written requests for state acknowledgement letters to Molly Schmidt at MollyE.Schmidt@Wisconsin.gov no later than Nov. 4, 2022, to allow adequate time to draft and receive the letter prior to the EPA’s application deadline of Nov. 22, 2022.

  • For all grants, include the following information:
    • Type of grant being applied for: multipurpose, assessment, cleanup or revolving loan fund
    • The name, title and mailing address of the person to whom the letter should be addressed (i.e., the representative of the entity applying for the grant)
    • A general description of the community concerns about the property related to brownfields, socioeconomic challenges and redevelopment needs
  • For assessment grants, include the following information:
    • The property address, a brief history of ownership, a brief history of site-specific land use and why the property is suspected of being contaminated; include DNR Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) identification number(s), if applicable
  • For cleanup grants, include the following information:
    • The property address, a brief history of ownership, a brief history of site-specific land uses and why the property is known to be contaminated; include BRRTS identification number(s), if applicable
    • A statement of whether the applicant and/or landowner intends to enroll the property in the voluntary party liability exemption program
    • The approximate timeframe to complete site investigation, begin cleanup at the property, submit reports required under Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-799 and estimated time for DNR staff review
  • For petroleum contamination cleanup or assessment grants, include the following information:
    • The current property owner, occupant and the immediate past-owner of the property
    • The date and method by which the current owner acquired the property (e.g., purchase, tax foreclosure)
    • Whether the applicant, the current owner, or immediate past-owner dispensed or disposed of petroleum on the property
    • Whether the applicant, the current owner, or immediate past-owner took reasonable steps to contain any known contamination
    • Whether there are any state or federal environmental judgments or orders, or third-party suits or claims against the current or immediate past-owner, and if the current or immediate past-owner has the financial means to comply
    • Reasons why any of the above information may not be available

Grants awarded by the EPA provide resources that can be used for various brownfield activities, with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes.

EPA Grant Information. For grant guidelines and application resources, visit the EPA’s FY23 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, RLF and Cleanup Grant Resource webpage.

RR Program Seeks Hydrogeologists, Complex Projects Expert

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting two Hydrogeologists (entry or senior level) and a Complex Projects Expert (project position).

The Hydrogeologist positions will be stationed out of the Milwaukee, Green Bay or Oshkosh DNR office; however, telework may be available for up to 60% of the work week. The deadline to apply for the Hydrogeologist positions is Oct. 12, 2022.

The Complex Projects Expert position will be stationed out of a DNR office within the state based on applicant preference and space availability. This is a project position with an expected end date of July 31, 2026. The deadline to apply for the Complex Projects Expert is October 17, 2022.

The Hydrogeologist – Entry is a technical position in which the incumbent must have solid knowledge of geology and hydrogeology, well hydraulics, chemistry, soil science, environmental cleanups, and biological processes in subsurface soil and groundwater environments. The Hydrogeologist supports regional coordination of a major environmental program that affects other DNR programs, State agencies, local communities, and the public by providing technical advice and recommendations. Job duties include gathering data on potentially contaminated sites, analyzing and interpreting site data, applying State regulations and standards to cleanup efforts, and processing the submittals of documentation completed for all stages of a project.

A full position description for Hydrogeologist – Entry, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 7788).

The Hydrogeologist – Senior provides geologic and hydrogeologic expertise and oversight for investigation and remediation of contamination sites. This is a technical position in which the incumbent must have a detailed knowledge of geology, hydrogeology, contaminate transport, chemistry, vapor intrusion, soil science, remedial system design, and biological processes in subsurface soil and groundwater environments. Specifically, this involves providing technical advice to responsible parties, their consultants, local government units and officials and other staff in the region for actions taken to address soil and groundwater contamination at Leaking Underground Storage Tank, Environmental Repair Program, Brownfield Redevelopment, Spill, Abandoned Landfill, Dry Cleaner Program and hazardous waste remediation sites throughout the region. The Hydrogeologist Senior provides interpretation and implementation advice on the rules, regulations and guidance documents concerning environmental investigations and cleanups as well as brownfield redevelopment efforts. Hydrogeologist Senior will evaluate and approve work on complex sites, often having program-wide policy impacts.

A full position description for Hydrogeologist – Senior, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 7788).

The Complex Projects Expert position requires application of specific knowledge of hydrogeology, geology and project management principles to provide services relating to the hydrogeologic and chemical principles controlling the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment at sites throughout Wisconsin. The Complex Projects Expert will be responsible for providing site-specific, hydrogeologic evaluations and complex project reviews for remediation sites, ensuring regulatory compliance with applicable state and federal laws. The work will include application of hydrogeologic and engineering concepts relating to the investigation and clean-up of contamination in soil, groundwater and sediment.

Among other duties, the Complex Projects Expert will provide hydrogeologic expertise to the RR Program in the areas of site investigation, groundwater flow analysis, contaminant migration, and remedial options analysis. This position focuses on the most technically complex program concerns from a site characterization and environmental restoration perspective. This position directly coordinates activities through intense oversight and/or provides focused assistance to RR Program staff with the development, implementation, and advanced technical analysis of complex long-term soil and groundwater remediation projects. The Complex Projects Expert functions as part of a project management team and serves as the project manager on assigned RR site investigation, remediation and operation & maintenance projects.

A full position description for Complex Projects Expert, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 7204).

Public Input Opportunity – Five-Year Review of the Campmarina Superfund Site Upland Operable Unit

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now seeking input on the Five-Year Review of the Campmarina Superfund Site Upland Operable Unit.

The public notice can be found at the Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s Public Notices & Guidance webpage under the “Public Notices” tab. Comments may be submitted through Oct. 31, 2022 to John Feeney at johnm.feeney@wisconsin.gov.