City of Manitowoc Receives EPA Brownfields Award

The cleanup and redevelopment of the former Mirro Aluminum factories in Manitowoc recently garnered the city an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfields award during the recent National Brownfields Conference, held December 5-7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Award recipients

Receiving the EPA award is Nicolas Sparacio from the city of Manitowoc. He is flanked by Michael Prager, RR Program Land Recycling Team Leader, Margaret Guerriero and Yolanda Bouchee-Cureton, both from the EPA.

The EPA recognized the city for its outstanding efforts to clean up and redevelop two former factories that the city was left with when the Mirro Aluminum Co. closed its manufacturing plants in Manitowoc in 2003. Through persistence and hard work, the city has been successful in transforming the former Mirro Plant No. 3 into loft apartments targeted towards the veteran community and artists. In addition, the city achieved a huge milestone by completing the demolition of the massive Mirro Plant No. 9 and preparing the land for development.

The Wisconsin DNR’s RR Program assisted with Manitowoc’s Mirro cleanups by providing both financial and technical assistance. A summary of the Mirro apartments project can be found in the Program’s 128a Mid-Year Report for 2015-2016.

To learn how RR staff can help with your community’s revitalization efforts, contact your regional Land Recycling team member and request a “Green Team” meeting.

Semi-annual Reporting Due Soon

Semi-annual reporting for the period of July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 is due February 2, 2018. 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 2018. If you did not receive an email, you can request a 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.

Continue reading “Semi-annual Reporting Due Soon”

DNR’s RR Program Part of February FET Event

Department of Natural Resources speakers are scheduled to be part of the line-up for the Federation of Environmental Technologists (FET) 2018 Brownfields Development Seminar, scheduled for February 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Country Springs hotel in Pewaukee.

The day-long event will feature a number of discussions related to contaminated land remediation and the redevelopment of former brownfields, including DNR environmental considerations for new construction; legal strategies for property acquisition; a discussion regarding the real estate development process; and a discussion on the governance and policy making that makes for livable communities.

The seminar is open to both members and non-members alike. Continuing education credits will be available.

For the agenda and registration information, visit the FET webpage: Brownfields Development Seminar

Waterfront Brownfields Projects May Benefit from NFWF Grant

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), along with private and public partners, is accepting applications for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program.

The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in modest sized grants nationwide. Local governments and non-profit organizations can apply for this funding that can be used to assist with restoration of urban waterfront areas.

Applications are due January 31, 2018.

All application materials must be submitted online through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

PECFA U&C Schedule #23 Available Online

The Usual & Customary Cost Standardized Invoice and Task Reference Guide #23 are now available for January 2018 through June 2018 on the DNR’s PECFA web page on the Reimbursement tab. Please note the following updates:

  • New Task 5 – Subtask CR25 will provide for a maximum reimbursement of $1,250 for the submittal of a closure request when required to be submitted concurrently with a Site Investigation Report.
  • Task 7 clarification – Only one regulatory may be claimed per year for the required tax forms.
  • Task 18 – Obsolete
  • Task 26 – Obsolete
  • Task 27 now provides for three (3) claim prep charges per year for active scopes of work.
  • Task 31 – Clarification on consultant overnight per diems.

Please review the UCCS Task Reference Guide #23 for additional information.

Reminder: New Mailing Address for PECFA

On June 30, 2018, the Remediation and Redevelopment Program will cease using P.O. Box 8044 for PECFA submittals. At that time, we will consolidate all incoming mail into the current program-wide mailbox.

Please begin using the following address as soon as possible:

Wisconsin DNR – RR/5
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

The PECFA submittals address is now updated on all the forms.

 

Snapshot: December PECFA Financials

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides a monthly update on the status of claims and the overall budget of the Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) award program.

Below are the updated PECFA claim numbers for December 2017, including the number of claims received, claims paid, and the total dollar amount of claims paid in the current fiscal year.

Number Value
Claims Received 77 $292,214
Claims Paid 71 $373,371
Claims in Audit Line
(as of December 31)
65 $346,944
Total Paid FY18 $3,196,105

 

Updates to Wisconsin Spill Law Help Promote Land Recycling

Last November, the Governor signed 2017 Act 70, which modified Wis. Stat. ch. 292 (Wisconsin’s “Spill Law”) to help encourage brownfield cleanup and redevelopment. The Act was based on recommendations made by the Brownfields Study Group in its 2015 report, Investing in Wisconsin.

Modifications to the Spill Law include:

  • Clarification that the off-site liability exemption applies if there is vapor intrusion impacting an off-site property (Wis. Stat. § 292.13(1m))
  • Changing the definition of “property” as it is used for Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE). The new definition is “…an area of real property that is included in an application to obtain an exemption under this section, made up of a legally identifiable parcel or legally identifiable contiguous parcels created in compliance with applicable laws.” (Wis. Stat. § 292.15(1)(c))
  • Specifying the process for changing the footprint for the VPLE “property” after an application has been submitted if the “property” is subdivided, combined with other properties or otherwise changed. (Wis. Stat. § 292.15(2)(at))

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s role with brownfields redevelopment is not directly affected by many of the other provisions in the Act, such as changes to tax incremental districts (TID) requirements for environmental remediation; expansion of the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing option to include brownfield revitalization projects; expanded options to address tax delinquent brownfields and other provisions.

Program staff will make necessary changes to VPLE documents and webpages and work with the program’s Land Recycling Team to identify other actions needed to implement the changes.

More information on the bill, including descriptions of the provisions in the Act, can be found in Senate Bill 173.

“All Aboard!” Spooner’s Historic Roundhouse Revival

Spooner Roundhouse

Contaminated soils from around the Roundhouse were excavated and hauled off site to the old Spooner Landfill. The Roundhouse area was then capped and seeded. This area will be used for a public space. Spooner will be renovating the Roundhouse as a public space.

The city of Spooner, located in northwestern Wisconsin, pop. 2,700, has a rich railroad heritage. The city’s origin and colorful history is rooted in the railroad expansion of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Spooner was an important railroad center of the Chicago and North Western Railway for many years. A historic railway roundhouse, a surviving turntable, and other aspects of the original rail yard still exist. The Spooner roundhouse is one of the few remaining structures of its kind.

Several local and state organizations have collaborated for years on efforts to clean up environmental contamination and preserve this unique and historic landmark property. The land is in the “Museum District” which also includes the Railroad Memories Museum and the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum. The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state. The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad operates active tracks on the site.

Remediated dirt

The regulatory issues involved in this project were handled through a collaboration of the Wisconsin DNR’s R&R and Waste and Materials Management programs. The excavated soils were placed at the old Spooner Landfill and used as part of a recapping project. The contaminated soils remaining at the site were capped and seeded.

Many years of railroad activities and subsequent manufacturing uses led to concerns about possible environmental contamination on the property. Section 128(a) funding from the EPA contributed to several successful Green Team project meetings with the Wisconsin DNR, the city of Spooner, and other stakeholders. Section 128(a) funds also supported the Wisconsin DNR’s efforts to counsel the city on managing environmental liability and other communications with the city. Spooner further received Phase I ESA contractor services through the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Assessments Money (WAM) program, funded by the EPA ARC Assessment grants, prior to its acquisition of the roundhouse property.

Contaminated soils from around the roundhouse were excavated and disposed of at the old city landfill, as part of a recapping project. The roundhouse property was then capped and seeded. The property will be open to the public, and the city of Spooner is also renovating the roundhouse as a public space.

Roundhouse turntable

The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state.

The success of this northern Wisconsin cleanup site is highlighted in the recent year-end Report, a summary of the outcomes funded by a Section 128(a) grant from the US EPA made to the Wisconsin DNR’s Brownfields program. Previous 128(a) reports, including mid-year and year-end summaries going back to 2012, can be found on the DNR’s RR Program web page.

 

PFAS Fact Sheets from ITRC

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of emerging contaminants known to impact groundwater and surface water. The information surrounding toxicity, laboratory methods, investigations, and remediation strategies is evolving, and the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) recently published three technical factsheets summarizing current information on PFAS.  The fact sheets are available online.

These fact sheets specifically relate to:
1. History and Use
2. Regulations, Guidance, and Advisories
3. Naming Conventions and Physical and Chemical Properties

Later this month, ITRC plans to finalize three additional guidance documents on Fate and Transport, Site Characterization, and Remediation, which will be made available on the ITRC website.