WAM

DNR, Wisconsin Communities Receive $2.9M in EPA Brownfields Awards for FY2018

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Remediation and Redevelopment Program – along with its seven regional planning commission partners – is the recipient of a $600,000 US EPA Brownfields Grant.

The Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition will use this money to continue the Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program which provides funding to aid local governments and other eligible applicants in assessing and investigating environmental contamination at brownfields sites throughout the state. The coalition will target closed and closing manufacturing facilities to assess potential environmental contamination that could complicate reuse of the properties.

In addition to the Wisconsin DNR’s award, several other Wisconsin communities and entities were awarded US EPA Brownfields Grants:

  • Stevens Point – $300,000
  • Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee – $900,000
  • Racine – $300,000
  • Manitowoc – $300,000
  • Manitowoc Community Development Authority – $200,000
  • Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission – $300,000

“Clearly there is no shortage of creativity, innovation and ingenuity when it comes to brownfields redevelopment projects in the great State of Wisconsin,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator and former Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “EPA looks forward to expanding our work with our partners to redevelop brownfields so they can once again be thriving parts of their communities – spurring local economies with jobs and new businesses as well as generating tax revenues and spending.”

A full version of the US EPA press release can be found here.

Wisconsin Assessment Monies Program Assists Communities with Brownfields Assessment

Many communities in Wisconsin have properties with known or suspected contamination that could benefit from environmental assessment to help move those properties from underused to productive. The Wisconsin DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program may be able to help.

Through the Wisconsin Assessment Monies program – or WAM – the DNR provides professional environmental site assessments to local governments, tribes and to private entities in select circumstances to help them to turn properties around and ready them for new uses. Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the award is an attractive opportunity for communities.

Applications for WAM services are accepted on an ongoing basis. Properties eligible for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing.  Gas stations, dry cleaners and salvage yards are not eligible. Sites assisted by WAM are generally less than 10 acres and have petroleum or hazardous substance contamination that can be assessed for less than $35,000. 

Please call Tom Coogan, the WAM program administrator, at 608-267-7560 or email Tom to discuss eligibility requirements or for more information.

 

 

“All Aboard!” Spooner’s Historic Roundhouse Revival

Spooner Roundhouse

Contaminated soils from around the Roundhouse were excavated and hauled off site to the old Spooner Landfill. The Roundhouse area was then capped and seeded. This area will be used for a public space. Spooner will be renovating the Roundhouse as a public space.

The city of Spooner, located in northwestern Wisconsin, pop. 2,700, has a rich railroad heritage. The city’s origin and colorful history is rooted in the railroad expansion of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Spooner was an important railroad center of the Chicago and North Western Railway for many years. A historic railway roundhouse, a surviving turntable, and other aspects of the original rail yard still exist. The Spooner roundhouse is one of the few remaining structures of its kind.

Several local and state organizations have collaborated for years on efforts to clean up environmental contamination and preserve this unique and historic landmark property. The land is in the “Museum District” which also includes the Railroad Memories Museum and the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum. The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state. The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad operates active tracks on the site.

Remediated dirt

The regulatory issues involved in this project were handled through a collaboration of the Wisconsin DNR’s R&R and Waste and Materials Management programs. The excavated soils were placed at the old Spooner Landfill and used as part of a recapping project. The contaminated soils remaining at the site were capped and seeded.

Many years of railroad activities and subsequent manufacturing uses led to concerns about possible environmental contamination on the property. Section 128(a) funding from the EPA contributed to several successful Green Team project meetings with the Wisconsin DNR, the city of Spooner, and other stakeholders. Section 128(a) funds also supported the Wisconsin DNR’s efforts to counsel the city on managing environmental liability and other communications with the city. Spooner further received Phase I ESA contractor services through the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Assessments Money (WAM) program, funded by the EPA ARC Assessment grants, prior to its acquisition of the roundhouse property.

Contaminated soils from around the roundhouse were excavated and disposed of at the old city landfill, as part of a recapping project. The roundhouse property was then capped and seeded. The property will be open to the public, and the city of Spooner is also renovating the roundhouse as a public space.

Roundhouse turntable

The Roundhouse property includes one of the only working turntables in the state.

The success of this northern Wisconsin cleanup site is highlighted in the recent year-end Report, a summary of the outcomes funded by a Section 128(a) grant from the US EPA made to the Wisconsin DNR’s Brownfields program. Previous 128(a) reports, including mid-year and year-end summaries going back to 2012, can be found on the DNR’s RR Program web page.

 

Milwaukee to Use DNR Brownfield Assessment Funds at Inner Harbor Property

Milwaukee's Inner Harbor

A WAM grant will help repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor as part of a continuing effort to improve this gateway to the city.
Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

Efforts to repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor will get a boost from a recently issued Department of Natural Resources brownfields award.

The award comes from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $25,000. The work will help Milwaukee – specifically the Redevelopment Authority of the City of the Milwaukee (RACM) – assess potential contamination, leading to eventual remediation and redevelopment of the prime waterfront site.

The nearly 14-acre site on Greenfield Avenue is located across the street from the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and is currently a vacant lot that had historically housed fuel oil tanks. Over the years, fill material has been used to shore up a nearby dock wall and fill in a former boat slip.

“The DNR is honored to be a part of the future of this site,” said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR’s brownfields program. “Assessing this property for historic contamination is an important first step to the development of this waterfront property, which has so much potential given its location on Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor near the Freshwater Sciences building.”

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.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the award 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. Gas stations, dry cleaners and salvage yards are not eligible.

Jumpstart Redevelopment with Wisconsin Assessment Monies

The Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program helps address brownfields sites throughout the state where closed or closing industrial plants are acting as impediments to economic redevelopment. The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program provides assistance by offering contractor services for completion of Phase I and II environmental assessments and limited site investigation. This program helps jump-start the process of turning properties around and getting them ready for new uses. Minimal project administration is required by the recipient and there are no matching funds required.

Clip Art of a Building

WAM is made available by a grant from the U.S. EPA at the request of the DNR and Wisconsin’s Regional Planning Commissions (jointly, the Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition).

Sites assisted by WAM are generally less than 10 acres and have petroleum or hazardous substance contamination that can be assessed for less than $35,000.  Applications for WAM services are accepted on an ongoing basis.

For more information about WAM, including eligibility requirements:

Email Tom at Thomas.Coogan@Wisconsin.gov

Oshkosh, Stoughton Brownfields to Benefit from Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) Awards

Investigating for Contamination

WAM awards help investigate contamination at closed or closing industrial plants.

Two Wisconsin communities will benefit from WAM awards to help investigate contamination at two former manufacturing properties, soon destined for new life.

In Oshkosh, the Housing Authority seeks to convert the former Waite Grass Rug Factory into new housing, parking, daycare and office space. In Stoughton, the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority wants to clean up the former Millfab Holley Moulding property, getting that site ready for redevelopment.

Read the full press release.

Consulting Firms Selected for WAM Work

The Remediation and Redevelopment Program has selected four environmental consulting firms to perform work for the agency’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) Program. The WAM contractors are:   clip art of people

  • AECOM – Milwaukee, Wis.
  • The Sigma Group – Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Bay West – Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Ramaker & Associates – Sauk City, Wis.

Under the award, contractors will perform Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments or, if warranted, limited site investigations.

Brownfield Awards go to Three Communities in Wisconsin

Three Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) Contractor Services Awards were awarded to assess contamination at two former wood-processing plants and a former creamery in Clark, Lincoln and Rusk counties.Investigating for Contamination

The projects are valued up to $18,000 each. The services will be used to determine soil and groundwater conditions at the former Owen Manufacturing wood-processing plant in Clark County; the former Hurd Manufacturing facility in Merrill/Lincoln counties; and at the former Sheldon Creamery in Rusk County.

See the full article for more information.

Wisconsin DNR Receives EPA Coalition Assessment Grant

The DNR’s RR Program will continue to help communities assess their brownfield sites with the addition of a $600,000 grant from the US EPA’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grant program. The DNR, in partnership with the Wisconsin Brownfields Coalition (WBC), is one of four Wisconsin entities to receive an FY16 ARC grant, allowing the agency to continue providing assistance to communities through the Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program. The WAM program provides no-cost environmental assessments at sites that are poised for cleanup and redevelopment. The WBC includes the DNR and all nine Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissions.

In the EPA press release, Administrator Gina McCarthy says, “These grants will empower communities to transform idle, languishing lands into vibrant hubs for business, jobs, and recreation. It’s all about empowering that initial funding, and sparking that first conversation to set stalled sites on a path to smart, safe redevelopment that directly benefits communities.”