Brownfields

TAB webinar to address community engagement

If your community is challenged by the “engagement” requirement as part of your federal brownfield grant, the National Technical Assistance for Brownfields and the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program at Kansas State University are teaming up to help you out.

A webinar on Thursday, July 18 will cover various community engagement topics for new (or recent) ARC Grant award recipients. It’s free to join in, but registration is required to ensure your connection. Click here to register. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Blake Belanger or Sheree Walsh.

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EPA Awards 2019 MAC Grants to Wisconsin Communities

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $3.69 million in Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) brownfields grants to seven Wisconsin communities.

Grants awarded by the EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities across Wisconsin and the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. In many cases, brownfields grants have been shown to not only increase local tax revenue, but to also have a positive impact on residential property values.

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New brownfields handbook available from EPA

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a new (June 2019) handbook titled, “Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment.” This 14-page publication is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/anat_bf_redev_101106.pdf.

The handbook provides a good overview of the issues, challenges, and opportunities associated with old and unproductive commercial and industrial properties that may have environmental contamination. It also describes various process steps and best practices for local governments to consider when taking on a brownfield property.

More Wisconsin-specific brownfield cleanup and reuse information is available from DNR at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/ and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/lgu.html and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/brownfields/GreenTeam.html.

RR Program Web and IT Updates

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program has created a new web page for contaminated soil and sediment, and recently completed additional webpage updates.

The new contaminated soil and sediment web page contains guidance and instructions on the soil RCL calculator and information about alternative soil assessments, soil and materials management under Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718, historic fill exemptions, contaminated sediments, PCBs in soil, smear zone contamination, and biodegradation as a remedial action.

If you already have Resources for Environmental Professionals bookmarked, a link to the new webpage can be found in the “Related Links” section, as well as at the top of that page for a limited time.

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Application Deadline Extended to May 29 for Brownfields Section Chief Position

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking a qualified and talented pool of candidates for the Remediation & Redevelopment (RR) Program’s Brownfields Policy and Outreach Section Chief position.

The deadline to apply for this position is now May 29, 2019. The position is based in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Brownfields Opportunity Zones: TAB Webinar on May 21

There are a lot of financing tools and incentives available to communities for tackling the challenges of financing brownfields redevelopment. From tax-exempt bonds to district-based financing to revolving loan funds, the financing for brownfields redevelopment is often layered with multiple financing tools to produce the final project capital stack. With the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, communities now have a new federal incentive in their toolbox – Opportunity Zones.

Through a special partnership with KSU TAB, CCLR, and CDFA, webinar panelists will explore how communities are preparing themselves for Opportunity Zone investments. Speakers will also examine how communities across the U.S. are integrating these new strategies with current and future redevelopment plans, with a specific focus on brownfields sites.

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Site Investigations Basics; TAB Webinar on May 2, 2019

Register today for a free webinar about the environmental assessment and investigation of real property and how the results of these processes impact redevelopment options.

The webinar is May 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. (CST), and is sponsored by the National Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can register here: https://www.ksutab.org/education/webinars/details?id=352.

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DNR and DHS Work Together to Improve Water Quality in Wisconsin

The Department of Natural Resources announced two new water quality initiatives as part of Governor Evers’ Year of Clean Drinking Water declaration for 2019.

This week the DNR worked with Department of Health Services (DHS) to ask the health agency to review 40 contaminants for possible groundwater quality standards. This work comes on the heels of the department asking DHS last spring to review an initial 27 contaminants, including two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in numerous products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain resistant sprays and firefighting foam.

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RR Program Offers New SI Checklists

Two site investigation checklists are now available from the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program.

The Site Investigation Work Plan Preparation Checklist (RR-096) and the Site Investigation Report (SIR) Preparation Checklist (RR-097) are optional tools that environmental consultants and responsible parties can use to help develop site investigation work plans and reports in compliance with Wis. Admin. Code NR 716.

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Darsi Foss Named Administrator of Environmental Management Division at DNR

Darsi Foss has been named Division Administrator for the Environmental Management (EM) Division. Along with the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program, the EM Division also consists of the Air Management, Drinking Water and Groundwater, Office of Great Waters, Waste and Materials Management and the Water Quality programs.

Foss has been at the helm of the RR Program since 2014 and served as the Program’s Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief from 1998 to 2014.

Foss leaves the RR Program well-positioned to meet the demands and challenges in the months ahead as it not only oversees cleanup and redevelopment efforts around the state, but as the Program works through revisions to the NR 700-799 rules and issues regarding emerging chemical contamination, including PFAS.

Darsi starts her new position as part of the DNR management team on February 17.