Cleanup

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.

Comprehensive Per- and poly-fluoroaklyl (PFAS) Legislation Proposed

Today, Governor Evers and Secretary Cole accompanied Senators David Hansen (Green Bay) and Mark Miller (Monona) to announce one of the most comprehensive bills in the nation to address contamination by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This bill (LRB-2297/2), if passed, will protect public health as well as the air, waters and lands of Wisconsin.

What would the legislation do?

  • This bill requires the Department of Natural Resources to establish and enforce various standards for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
  • The PFAS group of substances includes several thousand chemicals (4,000+); two of the most well-known are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS).
  • The bill requires DNR to establish, by rule, the following:
    • acceptable levels and standards,
    • monitoring requirements, and
    • required response actions for any PFAS.
  • Applies to all media:
    • in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, air, solid waste, beds of navigable waters, and soil and sediment, if the department determines that the substance may be harmful to human health or the environment.
  • These rules must cover, at a minimum, PFOA and PFOS, as well as perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA).
  • In recommending a groundwater enforcement standard for a perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substance, the department of health services may recommend individual standards for each substance, a standard for these substances as a class, or standards for groups of these substances.

Continue reading “Comprehensive Per- and poly-fluoroaklyl (PFAS) Legislation Proposed”

Electronic Documents to be Submitted Via RR Submittal Portal

Under the NR 700 rule series, responsible parties (RPs), or their representative, must provide DNR with one paper copy and one electronic copy of all submitted documents, including those related to case closure requests. These submittal requirements can be found in Wis. Admin. Code § NR 700.11 (3g), as well as throughout Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 ‐ 754 for specific situations.

Since January 2019, the RR Program has directed RPs and consultants to submit all electronic documents required by Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700-754 via the RR Program Submittal Portal.

Continue reading “Electronic Documents to be Submitted Via RR Submittal Portal”

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.

Continue reading “DNR and DHS Work Together to Improve Water Quality in Wisconsin”

Public Input Opportunity: Implementation of Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 749 and NR 750 Fees

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program seeks your input on a draft publication entitled “Implementation of Wis. Admin. Code Chs. NR 749 and NR 750 (RR-997)”.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for responsible parties, environmental consultants, and others who request technical assistance or oversight from the Department of Natural Resources’ RR Program. The guidance addresses fees for DNR oversight and assistance at sites regulated under Wis. Admin. Code chs. 700 – 754. Fees applicable to most cases are defined in Wis. Admin Code ch. NR 749. Fees for Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) cases are defined in Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 750.

The document can be reviewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/guidance.html and comments can be submitted through May 1, 2019 to the Fiscal and Information Technology Section Chief, Jenna Soyer, at Jenna.Soyer@wisconsin.gov.

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.

Continue reading “RR Program Offers New SI Checklists”

RR Program’s PFAS Technical Advisory Group Meetings Scheduled

The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program will convene a PFAS Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to discuss PFAS-related concerns that are specific to the assessment and cleanup of environmental contamination.

The goal of the group is to examine the “what, where, when and how” of PFAS investigation and remediation by sharing concerns, identifying current and proposed practices, and strategizing on issues requiring solutions. The group does not have an appointed membership; any interested party may attend.

Continue reading “RR Program’s PFAS Technical Advisory Group Meetings Scheduled”

Hold the Date: First Rule Development Meeting Tentatively Scheduled for February 5, 2019

On January 23, 2019, the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program will seek the approval of the Natural Resource Board (NRB) to initiate the rulemaking process for revisions to select provisions of Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700799, Environmental Protection – Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination. If this request is approved, the RR program will host a series of open meetings to seek input on the development of the proposed rules.

Pursuant to Wisconsin’s administrative rulemaking process, the RR program has prepared two statements of scope that describe the proposed content of the rulemaking.  These scope statements are available online in the Wisconsin Administrative Register.

Continue reading “Hold the Date: First Rule Development Meeting Tentatively Scheduled for February 5, 2019”

DNR Interim Decision on Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) Program and Emerging Contaminants

Wisconsin’s Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program allows a person to clean up a property and receive an exemption from future liability for historic contamination. Once cleanup is complete, the VPLE Certificate of Completion (COC) provides liability protection for the owner of the property. It is also transferrable to future owners. Since 1995, the DNR has issued 186 COCs. Eighty-three voluntary parties are currently pursuing a VPLE COC.

Recent concerns over emerging contaminants, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) chemicals in Wisconsin and nationally have prompted the DNR to evaluate the potential for historical discharges of PFAS and other emerging contaminants at properties enrolled in the VPLE program that are pursuing a COC.

Continue reading “DNR Interim Decision on Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) Program and Emerging Contaminants”