Local governments

DNR Awards $336,000 in WAM Funds to Nine Wisconsin Communities

Brownfields cleanup projects in nine communities across the state have gained momentum in recent weeks with the granting of awards worth a total of $336,000 from the Department of Natural Resources. The help comes from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides grants to eligible recipients in the form of contractor services to investigate potential soil or groundwater contamination at the site.

The communities that have received recent awards include Allouez, Appleton, Eleva, Janesville, Marinette, Prairie du Chien, Stoughton, Watertown and Winneconne.

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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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EPA Brownfields Redevelopment Webinars – Fall 2019

Mark your calendars and make plans to join the US EPA’s RE-Development Academy for Communities, a free three-part webinar series where you will learn the process for redeveloping a contaminated site through the eyes of a property developer.

These events are sponsored by the EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization. For details and to register, click the separate links below:

September 13: Redevelopment Process: The Intersection of Real Estate and Brownfields
October 18: Peering into the Crystal Ball: How the Market Decides Future Use!
November 8: Pulling Back the Curtain: How Developers Make Money!

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Brownfields Technical Assistance Available to Communities

A series of EPA webinars will present information on how to include no-cost brownfields technical expertise in your next brownfields project. The webinars will be held July 16,17, and 31.

EPA’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program funds several expert organizations to support your efforts to assess, cleanup and reuse brownfield sites in your community.

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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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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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DNR Commits $4.3 Million to Portage Canal Cleanup

Dredging and cleanup of a nearly three-quarter mile section of the Portage Canal is moving ahead with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources providing $4.3 million to cover the cost of the work.

“In the spirit of Gov. Evers’ declaring 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water, the DNR is committed to cleaning up contaminated sediments in this section of the Portage Canal,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole. “We’re excited to work with the city on this cleanup project and look forward to seeing the bicycle and pedestrian pathways the city plans to construct along the canal.”

As the owner of the Portage Canal, the state of Wisconsin is responsible for taking the necessary actions to address the contamination that has impacted the canal. “Completing this project is one of the agency’s top priorities,” said Cole.

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Requests for DNR “Acknowledgment Letter” Due January 18

If you plan to apply for an FY2019 EPA brownfield grant, you have until Friday, January 18 to request your letter of acknowledgment from the Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program as part of your federal grant application.

To learn how to get a DNR letter of acknowledgment, and other useful information, visit the DNR Federal brownfield grants web page.

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Apply Now for 2019 EPA Brownfield Grants

Applications for 2019 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfield grants are now being accepted. The Request for Proposals and the Application Guidelines officially open the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant competition. Applications for these grants are due January 31st, 2019.

Grants offered by the EPA Brownfields Program may be used by local governments, tribes and non-profit organizations to address known or suspected contaminated sites. In March of 2018 the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act was enacted. The BUILD Act reauthorized EPA’s Brownfields Program and made several important changes that affect the grant programs that are described on the EPA Grants web page.

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