Cleanup

Now Available: Publication RR-502, Selecting an Environmental Consultant

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-502, Selecting an Environmental Consultant, is now posted and available online.

The document can be found here. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program can be identified using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

The purpose of the guidance is to help responsible parties, local governments, developers, and others understand the key role that environmental consultants play in the assessment, investigation, and cleanup of contaminated properties in Wisconsin, and help these parties identify qualified consultants for their projects.

Questions regarding this document may be submitted to Barry Ashenfelter at Barry.Ashenfelter@wisconsin.gov

Now Available: Publication RR-060, Guidance For Management Of Contaminated Soil And Other Solid Wastes – Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and NR 718.15

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publication RR-060, Guidance for Management of Contaminated Soil and Other Solid Wastes – Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and NR 718.15, is now posted and available online.

For this document, a sentence that referred to management of asbestos-containing materials on page 2 was removed. In addition, the NR 718 Approval and Process Options approval process for immediate actions involving contaminated soil was modified for clarification (page 5), and the locational requirements (page 12) were updated to include the requirement that a responsible party may not place or replace contaminated soil where it poses a threat to public health, safety, or welfare or the environment.

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.

This guidance is intended for use by responsible parties when excavating contaminated soil and other solid waste that may not warrant disposal at an operating, licensed landfill. This guidance describes several approvals that may be available in such situations.

Questions regarding this document may be submitted to Paul Grittner at Paul.Grittner@wisconsin.gov.

RR Program Makes Website Changes To Enhance Customer Service

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program has reconfigured its main landing pages and added redevelopment resources to the RR Sites Map to better serve our customers.

New And Improved Landing Pages

The RR Program oversees the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination throughout the state and provides technical guidance and assistance to responsible parties and environmental professionals.

Equally, the RR Program helps local governments, prospective purchasers, lenders, developers and property owners understand and navigate the redevelopment and revitalization of brownfields, which are properties that are contaminated or suspected to be contaminated.

RR Program has reorganized its website using three separate topic-specific landing pages:

The new Environmental Contamination and Cleanup landing page is geared towards environmental professionals and includes direct links to numerous technical topics and links to the guidance and forms index, the RR Sites Map and the Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS). Environmental professionals should bookmark this new page designed specifically to provide links to the most-sought technical resources.

The Brownfields landing page serves as a toolbox for local governments, prospective purchasers, lenders, developers and property owners. It provides information on the basics of cleaning up and redeveloping a contaminated site and information regarding liability, financial resources, how to schedule Green Team meetings with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and success stories of brownfields redevelopment projects throughout the state.

The Spills landing page provides instruction on reporting hazardous substance spills and discharges in Wisconsin.

Further improvements include prominent links to the RR Submittal Portal and the RR Report newsfeed on each landing page. Users will also now find quick access to public input opportunities and a link to a new external advisory groups page.

Saved or bookmarked pages will continue to work seamlessly; these upgrades only affect the RR Program’s landing pages.

RR Sites Map

RR Sites Map is the RR Program’s GIS mapping application that provides information about remediation and redevelopment activities in Wisconsin. Recently, redevelopment resources were added to help users evaluate sites in relation to socioeconomic data, including links to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Redevelopment Mapper, the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool and the Center for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) Social Vulnerability Index. In addition, layers from the CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index are now available on the map (in the map and data tasks tab, select the layer catalog, then choose Non-DNR Data and Social/Cultural/Economic Information).

The RR Program welcomes your feedback on these improvements. Send your thoughts and suggestions to Jodie Peotter at jodie.peotter@wisconsin.gov.

Brownfields Fundamentals: Cleanup Collaboration Leverages Funding

The benefits of cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield properties are significant. Returning underused and unsightly commercial and industrial properties back to productive use protects public health and promotes community vitality.

State and federal financial assistance for brownfield revitalization is available in many forms for local governments. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can help your community put all the pieces together, address environmental contamination and move these projects forward.

Gather Your Team

Once you identify one or more brownfield properties in your community that will likely sit empty for years without local government involvement, contact the DNR to request a Green Team meeting with brownfield specialists. The DNR staff can help your community in many ways, including:

  • Identifying property acquisition methods that give liability exemptions to local governments;
  • Managing liability concerns throughout the cleanup process;
  • Understanding the process of assessing, investigating and cleaning up brownfield properties; and
  • Identifying and explaining financial assistance options.

In addition to bringing the right people to the project conversation, a Green Team meeting will help your community understand how to get started and identify potential funding sources that work well together. Local governments can request as many Green Team meetings as needed to fully understand the technical cleanup path to site closure, and an adjacent funding strategy. The DNR understands that brownfield properties are a burden for local governments and wants to help repurpose these properties.

Assess Brownfield Properties With DNR Contractor Service Grants

Environmental assessment, performed by qualified private sector environmental professionals, is typically the first phase of the brownfield property remediation and reuse process. Financial assistance programs that are frequently paired are the Wisconsin Assessment Monies program (WAM), managed by the DNR, and the Site Assessment Grant (SAG) program, offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

WAM is a contractor services award program that funds Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, up to $35,000. Limited site investigation work may also be funded at some properties. SAG funds environmental assessment and demolition activities.

When applications from local governments are timed right, funding sources can combine to provide broad coverage of environmental assessment needs. The DNR’s WAM award disbursements can also be used to meet WEDC’s SAG financial match requirements.

Clean Up Brownfield Properties With State Loans And Grants

Following site assessment and investigation activities at a property, cleanup work may be needed. With a good plan in place and consistent communication with the DNR, contamination cleanup funding sources can be secured by local governments and lined up to keep the work progressing without delay.

The DNR’s Ready for Reuse revolving loan fund program provides 0% interest-free loan funding for environmental remediation activities. In some situations, partial loan forgiveness is also possible.

The Brownfields Grant Program offered by WEDC can fund site investigation activities, remediation work and subsequent environmental monitoring.

Like the assessment funding programs, the DNR’s Ready for Reuse loans and WEDC’s Brownfields Grants complement each other to provide broad coverage of cleanup needs. They help keep remedial work progressing toward site closure and, when coordinated, can be leveraged to cover match requirements, which minimizes out of pocket expenses for local governments.

Cleaning up and redeveloping a brownfield property takes time, but with Green Team help from the DNR and the support of state financial partners, a successful redevelopment is possible. Many communities have effectively cleaned up and repurposed brownfield properties (see Brownfield Success Stories). The DNR is happy to help you and your community with your cleanup and redevelopment efforts. Request a Green Team meeting and start the conversation today!

ITRC Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Training Jan. 13 & 27

The Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) will offer online, comprehensive vapor intrusion training based on recent, technical guidance from the national group.

The upcoming live webinars will cover the purpose and use of ITRC’s comprehensive web-based series of technical resources for Vapor Intrusion Mitigation.

The training consists of a series of eight modules on the sections listed below and will be presented over two, two-hour sessions:

  • Jan. 13, 2022 (noon to 2 p.m. CST)
  • Jan. 27, 2022 (noon to 2 p.m. CST)

Registration is available on the ITRC’s training and events webpage.

A link to the ITRC’s Technical Resources for Vapor Intrusion Mitigation is also posted on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage under the “Guidance and Forms” tab near the bottom of the page. This comprehensive document includes an interactive directory that includes 10 fact sheets, 16 technology information sheets, and four checklists, covering the following topics specific to vapor intrusion mitigation:

  • Conceptual site model
  • Public outreach
  • Rapid response and ventilation (for acute risk)
  • Active mitigation
  • Passive mitigation
  • Remediation and institutional controls
  • Design considerations
  • Post installation considerations
  • Operation, maintenance and monitoring/exit strategy
  • Emerging technology

While the documents are designed to assist state regulators, they also serve to raise awareness with environmental consultants and other industry professionals.

The online sessions will be repeated on June 2 and June 14, 2022, and again on Nov. 3 and Nov. 15, 2022. The vapor intrusion trainings are also available on-demand.

Site-specific questions regarding vapor intrusion in Wisconsin should be directed to the assigned DNR Project Manager. General questions can be directed to the contacts listed on the DNR’s Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage.

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.

Continue reading “Remediation and Redevelopment Program 128(a) Year-End Report Available”

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.

Continue reading “New Community Resource For Vapor Intrusion Evaluation”

Now Available: Publication RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m) and Publication RR-0117, Guidance: When Should a Site Investigation Enter Surface Water?

Following a public comment period and consideration of the comments received, the publications RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m) and RR-0117, Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water? are now posted and available online.

The documents can be found here: RR-0126 and RR-0117. Additional documents and guidance from the Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be found using the search tools available on the publications and forms webpage.

Continue reading “Now Available: Publication RR-0126, Guidance for Sediment-Related Continuing Obligations for Environmental Protection, Wis. Stat. § 292.12(5m) and Publication RR-0117, Guidance: When Should a Site Investigation Enter Surface Water?”

DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To Village Of Johnson Creek

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the department awarded a Brownfields Grant to the Village of Johnson Creek.

The financial award 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.

Continue reading “DNR Awards Brownfields Grant To Village Of Johnson Creek”

Public Input Opportunity Ends Soon for Publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters

The public comment period ends next week on October 28, 2021 for the publication RR-619, Guidance: General Liability Clarification Letters.

The document can be found at the RR Program’s Public Notices & Guidance web page under the “Program Guidance” tab. Comments may be submitted through Oct. 28, 2021 to Michael Prager at Michael.Prager@wisconsin.gov or to DNRRRGuidance@wisconsin.gov.

The guidance document 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.