Soils

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.

 

RR Program Web and IT Updates

The Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program has created a new web page for contaminated soil and sediment, and recently completed additional webpage updates.

The new contaminated soil and sediment web page contains guidance and instructions on the soil RCL calculator and information about alternative soil assessments, soil and materials management under Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718, historic fill exemptions, contaminated sediments, PCBs in soil, smear zone contamination, and biodegradation as a remedial action.

If you already have Resources for Environmental Professionals bookmarked, a link to the new webpage can be found in the “Related Links” section, as well as at the top of that page for a limited time.

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New Fillable PDF Form for Materials Management Plan

A new, fillable PDF form has replaced RR-072. The new form is 4400-315: Recommended Template for Request to Manage Materials under Wis. Admin. Code § NR 718.12 or NR 718.15

The purpose of this form is to provide an optional template format for consultants and responsible parties to demonstrate the proposed management of solid waste material qualifies for a Wis. Admin. Code § NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption and to request written approval of the request.

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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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Soil RCL Calculator Updates – June 2018

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program recently updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the U.S. EPA regional screening level web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the RCLs is in a new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number RR-052g.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Wisconsin DNR’s Resources for Environmental Professionals web page and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

Material Management Activity Type Now Available in BRRTS

A new tracking code entitled, Material Management (MM), has been created within the Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) to identify sites and facilities that have accepted contaminated soil or other solid waste with an exemption from certain solid waste program requirements through Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15.

BRRTS numbers assigned to the MM activities codes will have a ‘15’- prefix.  Only the main actions (e.g., an interim or remedial actions) and continuing obligations (e.g., engineering control for direct contact threats) directly related to the material management activity will be tracked as an MM activity on the receiving site or facility.  All interim or remedial actions involving Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718 materials management will be concurrently tracked at the ERP or LUST source property where the contaminated material was excavated.  The exception would be for continuing obligations imposed on the site or facility receiving the material.

The MM tracking code was created to allow the public to use BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) to clearly identify sites or facilities where contaminated soil and other solid waste was received and how it is being managed.  For actions approved by DNR in April 2018 and forward, BOTW can be used to search for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12/718.15 exemption was granted.  Only actions directly related to Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 and 718.15 materials management will be listed in each MM activity, allowing users to efficiently obtain information specifically related to these activities.

An MM activity will be opened for sites and facilities where a Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemption was granted after March 29, 2018.    At this time, the DNR does not intend to retroactively create MM activities at sites or facilities where Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 718.12 or NR 718.15 exemptions were previously granted due to workload challenges.

Any questions regarding this process may be addressed to Paul Grittner at (608) 266-0941 or paul.grittner@wisconsin.gov.

Public Input Opportunity – Soil Management Guidance for Cleanups

The RR Program seeks your input on a revised, draft publication entitled “Clean Soil Management: A Self-Implementing Option for Soil Excavated During a Response Action under Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 700 through NR 750” (RR-103). This draft guidance was revised based on comments received from the public. This revision is much narrower in scope than the last version that was sent out for public comment.  This guidance is different than, but related to, the NR 718 contaminated soil guidance.

In particular, this guidance is intended solely for use by responsible parties (RPs) who are managing soil excavated as part of a response action pursuant to Wis. Stats. ch. 292 and Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 – 754.

The guidance does not apply to soil excavated as part of a construction project, utility project or transportation project.  However, if those projects also involve an NR 700 response action, this guidance only applies to the soil excavated as a direct result of the response action.

This draft 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. This document provides responsible parties (RPs) more clarity on what types of substances – if identified in soil – could generally be managed as “clean soil” in accordance with state law without the department’s pre-approval or tracking.  However, the person placing or accepting the soil would need to comply with limited locational criteria. The department believes that providing this guidance will help responsible parties and their environmental consultants to save money, and make more timely and consistent decisions on how to manage this type of excavated soil during a Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 700 cleanup action.

The document can be reviewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/guidance.html and comments can be submitted through May 13, 2018 to the Brownfields and Outreach Section Chief, Christine Haag at Christine.Haag@wisconsin.gov. In addition, the RR Program will host a question and answer session on this guidance scheduled for April 20, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Meeting logistics and agenda can be found on the DNR’s public meetings calendar (dnr.wi.gov search “public meetings”).  Externals are encouraged to provide written comments, as formal note taking will not capture comments during the listening session. Please note: Attendees must check-in at the visitors desk on the first floor. A conference call number is also available. Please RSVP to Christine Haag (christine.haag@wisconsin.gov) if planning to attend.

Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program Has Authority to Regulate Emerging Contaminants – including, PFAS Compounds

Chemicals that have seen industrial use for decades are now beginning to be better understood by scientists and others concerned with their potential impacts to human health and the environment. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFASs) are a class of emerging contaminants known to impact environmental media, such as groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water.

Additional information about PFASs can be found on the EPA’s web page, the ITRC’s collection of fact sheets and through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

When discharged to the environment, PFAS compounds meet the definitions of hazardous substance and/or environmental pollution under Wis. Stat. § 292.01. Discharges of PFASs to the environment are subject to regulation under Wis. Stat. § 292 and the requirements for immediate notification, investigation, and remediation in Wis. Admin. Code chs. NR 700 through 754.

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Soil RCL Calculator Updates

The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program has updated the numerical soil standards in its spreadsheet of residual contaminant levels (RCLs). The RCLs were determined using the recently-updated U.S. EPA regional screening level (RSL) web-calculator.

A summary of the changes to the direct-contact RCLs can be found in the new document, titled “RR Program’s Soil RCL Spreadsheet Update,” publication number DNR-RR-052f.

For more information and to access the RCL spreadsheet (macro and non-macro versions), visit the Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage and click on the “Soil RCLs” tab.

External Advisory Groups Help Guide, Shape DNR Policy

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program puts to good use the skills and knowledge of its customers by working together in a collaborative manner through a number of External Advisory Groups (EAG). In fact, it’s one of the core values of the agency. And with funding from the US EPA’s 128(a) grant, the Brownfields and Outreach Section assists these groups with messaging and keeping customers and the public informed.

Now in its 20th year of advising the agency is the Brownfields Study Group (BSG). The study group is one of the oldest EAGs, created in 1998 at the direction of the Governor and State Legislature to evaluate Wisconsin’s brownfields initiatives and recommend improvements, as well as propose additional incentives for brownfields redevelopment. The BSG continues to drive important brownfields policy changes in Wisconsin and among its successes can count the creation of the Site Assessment Grant Program, which awarded more than $18 million to more than 200 communities before it was transferred to a different agency. The group was also instrumental in developing the One Cleanup Program Agreement with Region 5 EPA, the most comprehensive agreement of its kind, which helps expedite cleanups of properties across the state.

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