EPA Brownfields Awards to Three Wisconsin Communities

Three Wisconsin communities will receive a total of $2.1 million in brownfields awards. The grants come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ARC Grants Programs – Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup. Green Bay and Washington County both stand to receive $800,000; Brillion will receive $500,000.

The grants will provide those communities with needed assistance as they work to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes.

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Natural Resources Board Considers Emergency Rule May 27

On May 27, 2020, the department will present proposed emergency rules to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for adoption. The proposed emergency rules implement statutory financial assurance requirements that apply to certain types of sites with contaminated sediment. When available, the proposed emergency rule board order RR-11-17E will be posted online as part of the NRB’s agenda.

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Wisconsin DNR Offers Environmental Compliance Roadmap – All state laws and regulations remain in effect

Wisconsin DNR Environmental Compliance Roadmap

Under Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will prioritize responding to imminent threats or complaints related to public health, safety and the environment over routine, on-site audits and inspections.

The regulated community can go here for a one-stop location to request case-by-case assistance due to likely compliance issues associated with COVID-19. All state laws and regulations remain in effect, unless otherwise suspended by the governor.

The DNR is committed to doing what we can to help those impacted by COVID-19 while continuing to protect environmental quality, public health and safety. The DNR is sensitive to the challenges posed to its regulated community, such as wastewater and air permittees and landfill license holders.

All entities should make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations. Where full compliance may not be possible due to COVID-19, the DNR created an environmental compliance roadmap for regulated entities.

The DNR advises businesses or local governments having a spill or a compliance problem that poses an imminent or actual threat to health or the environment to report it immediately by calling toll free 1-800-943-0003 and selecting “1.” This number is monitored 24 hours a day.

For non-emergency situations, the DNR is providing this online process as a means for the regulated entities to request advance compliance assistance from the DNR. This process should be initiated by directly emailing the main DNR contact for the facility or by using the online web form to request case-by-case compliance assistance.

The DNR will monitor these systems daily during regular business hours. Where safe compliance alternatives are approved in advance by the DNR, regulated entities will be required to maintain records adequate to document implementation of authorized alternative compliance options.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to receive the most up-to-date information and will adjust operations as conditions change. Distance is key during this public health emergency.

Under the Safer at Home order, we must do all that we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staying home as much as possible and limiting travel to your community is the best way to lower COVID-19 infection rates.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest updates, visit the DNR website or follow @WIDNR on Facebook, @wi_dnr on Instagram, or @WDNR on Twitter.

For specific information regarding the COVID-19 we encourage the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.


Reminder: Required Form for Soil Boring Logs

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program reminds environmental consultants to use DNR’s soil boring log (DNR Form 4400-122) to document drilling performed at remediation sites.

Use of the agency’s soil boring log form is required in Wis. Admin. Code § NR 141.23(3) and NR 716.15(4)(g). You can download the form and instructions at the link above.

If you have questions, please contact your Project Manager.


Site Investigation “Toolkit” Now Available Online

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program recently developed a web page called the “SI Toolkit” to provide environmental consultants and others with a framework for site investigation (SI) work plans and reports.

The new web page makes documents pertaining to site investigation (guidance, checklists, forms and rules) easy to find in one place. New SI-related guidance and factsheets will be added to this web page as they are developed.

Contact Jane Lemcke if you have questions or suggestions regarding the new SI Toolkit.

Nov. 19 Deadline for State Letter of Acknowledgment for EPA ARC Grants

If your community or organization intends to apply for an EPA 2020 Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund or Cleanup (ARC) Grant, EPA requires grant applicants, excluding tribal environmental authorities, to obtain a letter from the Wisconsin DNR acknowledging that the state is aware the applicant is applying for a federal grant to conduct brownfield assessment, revolving loan fund or cleanup activities.

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No Changes to VPLE Review Fee for Fiscal Year 2020

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program has calculated the hourly review fee for sites in the Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program.

The rate will not change for this upcoming fiscal year; it will continue to be $105 dollars an hour for state fiscal year 2020 which began on July 1, 2019 and ends on June 30, 2020. This has been the rate since July of 2014.

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NR 140 Groundwater Quality Standards Update

The following is from DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole:

I wanted you to know that DNR is pleased to report that we continue to make progress on advancing the Governor’s “Year of Clean Drinking Water” initiatives and returning Wisconsin to being a leader in the field of environmental protection.  This morning, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) provided DNR and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) with recommended standards for 27 groundwater contaminants (ch. NR 140 compounds). These recommendations are intended to protect human health and the environment, as part of Wisconsin’s landmark groundwater law, Chapter 160, Wisconsin Statutes. Included in this package are recommended standards for glysophate, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

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