Local governments

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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WAM Awards Granted to Langlade County and Antigo for Cooperative Project

Two brownfields cleanup projects in Antigo are getting financial assistance in the form of grants from the Department of Natural Resources.

The financial awards come from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for eligible sites. The DNR awarded the grants to the city of Antigo and Langlade County for two neighboring sites near the intersection of Edison Street and 1st Avenue.

“DNR is proud to partner with the city of Antigo and Langlade County as they work to address environmental concerns associated with these two properties,” said DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s Brownfields, Outreach and Policy Section Chief Jodie Peotter. “Often, WAM grants are able to kick-start a project and may be used as leverage against other grants or loans.”

The neighboring properties that were awarded grants face each other from opposite sides of 1st Avenue. The southern property, located at 915 1st Avenue, is occupied by a vacant building that was formerly Care Partners Assisted Living. The vacant building is being considered for future use as a sober living facility for women. The second property that will receive a grant is located across 1st Avenue to the north at 1020 Edison Street. Redevelopment is anticipated to include a similar sober living facility for men.

Both properties are located along an abandoned railroad yard and maintenance facility that was discontinued from service in the late 1970s. The grants for contractor services will help Antigo and Langlade County officials determine whether environmental contamination exists at the properties.

Since 2009, the WAM program has provided more than $2.5 million to 61 communities across the state, partnering to help clean up and redevelop old, often run-down or underused properties that distract from a community’s potential.

Administered by the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination. The program is funded through a U.S. EPA brownfields assessment grant.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no local financial match, WAM is an attractive opportunity for communities to gain knowledge of environmental conditions. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.

Applications for WAM assistance may be submitted at any time. The DNR uses WAM funding to assess brownfields throughout the state, concentrating on industrial sites and closed, or closing, manufacturing plants. WAM awards are also made for sites that may not have had a history of manufacturing but are in rural areas, racially diverse communities or economically disadvantaged areas.

For more information about WAM or other cleanup award programs from the RR Program, visit the DNR’s WAM webpage or the brownfields webpage.


DNR Awards Brownfields Grant Valued up to $35,000 to Village of Randolph

A brownfields cleanup project in the village of Randolph is getting financial assistance by way of a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

The financial award comes from DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 to eligible sites. The grant for contractor services will help city officials assess if environmental contamination exists at the former Graafsma Garage on Stark Street in Randolph.

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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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