US EPA

New brownfields handbook available from EPA

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a new (June 2019) handbook titled, “Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment.” This 14-page publication is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/anat_bf_redev_101106.pdf.

The handbook provides a good overview of the issues, challenges, and opportunities associated with old and unproductive commercial and industrial properties that may have environmental contamination. It also describes various process steps and best practices for local governments to consider when taking on a brownfield property.

More Wisconsin-specific brownfield cleanup and reuse information is available from DNR at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/ and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/lgu.html and https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/brownfields/GreenTeam.html.

Northeast Region Project Managers Receive EPA Brownfields Award

Congratulations to NER’s Tauren Beggs and Annette Weissbach (retired) for receiving a 2018 National Notable Achievement Award for Brownfields and Land Revitalization from the U.S. EPA. The two project managers in the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program were recognized for their work in building strategic approaches among multiple groups and agencies to cleanup and redevelop sites in Green Bay and Manitowoc.

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EPA Brownfield Grants for Environmental Job Training

The U.S. EPA Brownfields program is now accepting applications for its Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grant. The deadline is June 10, 2019.

Through the EWDJT program, graduates develop skill sets to improve their ability to secure full-time, sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management and within the larger environmental field, including sustainable cleanup and reuse, water quality improvement, chemical safety, and pesticide management.

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Site Investigations Basics; TAB Webinar on May 2, 2019

Register today for a free webinar about the environmental assessment and investigation of real property and how the results of these processes impact redevelopment options.

The webinar is May 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. (CST), and is sponsored by the National Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can register here: https://www.ksutab.org/education/webinars/details?id=352.

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Public Comment Open Now on Glatfelter Settlement to Clean up Fox River

Papermaker P.H. Glatfelter has agreed to pay $20.5 million to reimburse past and future EPA costs to clean up PCBs in Fox River sediment in a settlement with the US EPA and the US DOJ.

The settlement requires Glatfelter to assume responsibility for cleanup tasks, as well as the long-term monitoring and maintenance that will continue for years following dredging and a cap installation that is scheduled to be finished this year.

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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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Kansas State TAB Program Offers EPA Grant Review

With the competitive nature of securing an EPA Multipurpose, Assessment, or Cleanup (MAC) grant, it doesn’t hurt to have an objective review of your grant application. (See Nov. 30 RR Report article regarding EPA MAC Grants)

The Technical Assistance for Brownfields (TAB) program at Kansas State University provides such a review of your MAC grant proposals. The review is available for applicants in EPA Regions 5 through 8.

Staff at “K State” request at least a week’s notice that you will be sending a draft of the MAC application for review. The review is free of charge and can usually be turned around within a few days.

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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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DNR Brownfields Annual Accomplishments Report Now Available

The Wisconsin DNR’s final report summarizing efforts and accomplishments funded by a US EPA Section 128(a) Grant is now complete and available online.

The report, prepared by the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) program’s Brownfields and Outreach section, highlights the work and major accomplishments that program staff and partners achieved during the September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018 grant year.

Previous reports, including the recent mid-year update on 128(a) funded efforts, are also available on the RR program’s website.

“Our staff put a lot of time and effort into working on brownfields cleanup and redevelopment projects and policies throughout the year. We’re proud to present this comprehensive report on those efforts and we’re grateful to the US EPA for providing funds to help us with those projects,” said Christine Haag, Brownfields and Outreach section chief.

Racine to Use DNR Brownfield Assessment Funds to Aid Uptown Redevelopment

Efforts to assess possible contamination at a decades-old industrial site in Racine’s uptown area will get a boost with a recently issued brownfields grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

The award comes from the DNR Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $20,000. The work will help the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Racine (RDA) assess possible contamination, leading to a potential cleanup and eventual reuse of the site.

Brownfields site in Racine.

Racine assessed this brownfield site in the uptown area with help from a WAM award worth $20,000 in contractor services.

The nearly one-acre site on 13th Street has a long history of various industrial uses. It was most recently the site of a laundry service for the health care and hospitality industries. Historic records from the Racine Fire Department indicate that a 500-gallon underground fuel oil tank was located on or near the property.

With the RDA ready to promote the property, an investigation of the environmental conditions on the site will help put the group in a better position of securing a buyer and returning the site to productive economic status.

“As Racine continues to redevelop former industrial sites, the DNR is proud to be part of the city’s future,” said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR brownfields section. “This WAM grant could be just the leverage that the RDA needs to help turn this property around and get it on track for the next generation of use.”

Administered by the DNR 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. Environmental Protection Agency brownfields assessment grant.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the program is an attractive opportunity for communities. 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 can be submitted for WAM awards at any time. Properties eligible for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing.

For more information, contact Tom Coogan at 608-267-7560 or Thomas.Coogan@wisconsin.gov.