WAM

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.”