Rules and laws

Reminders: Case Closure Certification Page Signatures; P.E. Stamp Requirement

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program asks consultants to use the most recent version of the Case Closure Request Form (4400-202), which can be found on the Program’s Environmental Professionals web page. Use of this form to request case closure is required by Wis. Admin. Code § NR 726.09(1).

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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.

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NR 700–754 Rule Development Meeting on March 5, 2019

On March 5, 2019, the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program will host a meeting to provide information and seek input on the development of revisions to select provisions of Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700799, Environmental Protection – Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination.

This meeting is part of a series of rule development meetings that the RR program will host as it develops proposed rule revisions. The March 5, 2019, meeting will include:

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First Rule Development Meeting Scheduled for February 5, 2019

On February 5, 2019, the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program will host the first meeting in a series of public meetings to provide information and seek input on the development of revisions to select provisions of Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700799, Environmental Protection – Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination.

The RR program is initiating the rulemaking process following the Natural Resource Board’s approval on January 23, 2019, of two statements of scope that describe the proposed content of the rulemaking.  These scope statements are available online in the Wisconsin Administrative Register.

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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.

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NR 700 Semi-Annual Reporting Due Soon

Semi-annual reporting for the period of July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 is due February 1, 2019. Semi-annual reporting is required of responsible parties (RPs) for all “open” sites, including those sites the DNR formerly classified as “conditionally closed” in the BRRTS online database. Consultants may submit these reports on behalf of the RPs.

An email from the DNR with your unique report identification number was sent during the first week of January 2019. If you did not receive an email, you can request a Report ID number by submitting the Report ID Request Form. The Report ID number you will receive uniquely identifies the activity for which you wish to report, the reporting period, and verifies the person using the ID is authorized to submit the report. If you have any questions, please contact Tim Zeichert at (608) 266-5788.

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NR 712 Consultant Qualification Guidance Posted

Following much collaboration and public comment, Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712 Qualifications and Certifications (RR-081) is now available. In addition to the guidance being available on the Remediation and Redevelopment program’s Publications and Forms search page, it can also be found on the program’s web page for Environmental Professionals.

The document identifies the professional qualifications and certifications for performing and supervising work required by Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 712, and the requirement for certifying specific submittals for actions conducted under Wis. Stat. ch. 292 and Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 – 754.

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Exempt Soil Guidance Available

Exempt Soil Management: A Self-Implementing Option for Soil Excavated During a Response Action under Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 through NR 750 (RR 103) is now available.

This guidance provides an optional approach for responsible parties and their environmental consultants to use when soil is characterized and excavated as part of a response action (i.e., cleanup action), and the soil does not need to be managed at a licensed solid waste facility or through a site-specific exemption in Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 718 or the NR 500 rule series. The document provides responsible parties clarity on what types of substances – if identified in soil – could generally be managed as “exempt soil” in accordance with state law without the department’s pre-approval or tracking.

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Umpire Process: Helping Local Governments Take Charge of Brownfields

Wisconsin local governments seeking to catalyze redevelopment by cleaning up local brownfields have a powerful tool in their toolkit. The state’s Local Government Unit (LGU) Negotiation and Cost Recovery law lets cities, villages, counties, and other LGUs identify parties that are responsible for contamination at LGU-owned sites and then recover cleanup costs from them. This self-contained process includes public input and encourages responsible parties to agree on sharing cleanup costs – saving time and money – with help from a DNR-appointed “umpire,” or facilitator.

LGUs can pursue this process alongside the state regulatory process for cleanup, which allows local leaders to gauge cost recovery prospects while during the remedial action planning phase. The cost recovery process, known informally as the “Umpire Process,” is available at properties owned (either entirely or partially) by the LGU.

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TAB Program to Host May 9 Webinar on BUILD Act

The BUILD Act (Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development) was signed into law in March 2018 and is the first major legislative change to Brownfields since passage of the original statute in 2002. Specific changes include: increased eligibility for funding, additional liability protections, and changes to grant programs, just to name a few.

Join Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program for a free, National TAB webinar, on Wednesday, May 9 at 1:00 pm (Central), to hear about how the BUILD Act will improve the national brownfields program and support community brownfields revitalization. The webinar will feature officials from U.S. EPA, a local community, national brownfield experts, and the coordinator of the National Brownfields Coalition. Click here to register and visit the event web page to get more information about this May 9 BUILD Act webinar.