Description of Initiative:
Building upon the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s history of applying innovation to a strong foundation of protecting public health and the environment as well as promoting economic vitality, the Wisconsin Initiative for Sustainable Remediation & Redevelopment (WISRR) Team was created. This team, led by a dedicated Sustainability Team Leader, meets monthly and is charged with promoting environmentally and socioeconomically responsible practices.
Since its inception in 2009, WISRR has changed the way cleanup sites are viewed by promoting the applicability of sustainable technologies in site remediation and encouraging the use of green concepts throughout the various stages of site cleanup and redevelopment. Saving energy, reducing greenhouse gases, and minimizing waste through reuse and recycling are all aspects of WISRR.
To assist WISRR in meeting its charge, the team created the Green and Sustainable Remediation Manual. The manual provides a framework for project managers, consultants, responsible parties, and others to incorporate green and sustainable concepts into the cleanup of contaminated sites.
Results to Date:
- In 2010, The WISRR Team’s showcase project became reality with the installation of 44 solar panels on a former 23-acre Superfund site in Middleton, WI (called Refuse Hideaway Landfill). The solar array, which is capable of generating 12,000 kilowatt hours per year, is offsetting 46% of the energy used to power the remediation systems. If this trend continues, the DNR’s return of investment will be 23 years, which is 7 years earlier than initial 30 year projections. Project results have served as a national model that EPA shares with other states promoting renewable energy on contaminated lands.
- Green and Sustainable Remediation requirements have been incorporated into revised state cleanup rules that were expected to be published in late 2013.
- As mentioned above, the WISRR Team created the Green and Sustainable Remediation Manual: A Practical Guide to Green and Sustainable Remediation in the State of Wisconsin, to help stakeholders evaluate and implement green and sustainable remediation practices during site cleanup.
- In the spring of 2012 the WISRR Team and EPA Greener Cleanups staff trained DNR staff on the use of the GSR manual and other green and sustainable practices. The team plans to host external training once the state cleanup rule revisions are published.
- The WISRR Teams Site Specific Sustainability Analyses document evaluates potential Green and Sustainable Remediation practices at four Wisconsin sites and provides recommendations that could be incorporated at other sites throughout the country.
- The WISRR Team created the following quick reference guides to provide specific off- the-shelf examples of Green and Sustainable practices:
- Greener Remediation Optimization Techniques
- Greener Site Investigation Techniques
The guides have been extremely helpful during Project Manager and Responsible Party discussions.
- Participation in External Workgroups: WISRR Team members share lessons learned and Best Management Practices with a variety of workgroups in which they are active members:
- Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF)
- ASTM Greener Cleanups Workgroup
- EPA/States Region 5 Greener Cleanup Workgroup
For more information, please visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/brownfields/rrprogram.html (Greener Cleanups tab).
WISRR Team Leader