General Program Announcements

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.

NR 700 Reporting Due Jan. 31

Semi-annual reporting for the period of July 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021, is due by Jan. 31, 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 Jan. 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 Jan. 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022.

DNR’s RR Program Seeks Vapor Intrusion Expert In Southeast Region

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program is recruiting a Vapor Intrusion Specialist in the DNR’s Southeast Region.

This position will serve as the RR Program’s regional coordinator for assessment of vapor intrusion of volatile compounds, mitigation and development of statewide policy related to vapor intrusion. This person will develop and interpret administrative rules, guidance documents and technical documents related to the assessment, mitigation and remediation of vapor phase contamination.

This position reports to the Complex Projects and Technical Resources Section Chief and will be located in the DNR’s Milwaukee office. The deadline to apply for this position is Jan. 2, 2022.

A full position description, including necessary qualifications, is available online at the Wisc.jobs website (Job ID number 3921).

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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Now Available: Publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters, is now posted and available online.

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.

RR-619 describes when general liability clarification letters, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 292.55, may be helpful and how parties can request a general liability clarification letter from the DNR.

Questions regarding these documents may be submitted to Michael Prager at Michael.Prager@wisconsin.gov.

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 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now available.

The CERCLA Section 128(a) Grant Final Report, for the reporting period of Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021, highlights work undertaken and completed within the latest funding year.

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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.

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Deadline For State Letter Of Acknowledgement For EPA MARC Grants Nov. 17

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for FY22 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) & Cleanup (MARC) Grants. The deadline for applications is Dec. 1, 2021.

If your community or organization intends to apply for an FY22 MARC Grant, the U.S. EPA requires grant applicants – not including tribal entities – to obtain a state acknowledgement letter from the Wisconsin 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.

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program suggests making your request for a state acknowledgement letter no later than Nov. 17, 2021 to allow staff adequate time to draft and deliver the letter.

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