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August 26, 2014

MADISON - Old contaminated properties in two northeastern Wisconsin communities are on track for future cleanup and redevelopment thanks to awards from the Department of Natural Resources.

The awards - each valued between $20,000 to $40,000 - come from DNR's Wisconsin Assessment Monies Contractor Services program. The awards are not grants or loans, but instead pay for the cost of environmental assessments at closed or closing industrial sites, which help ready them for reuse.

"These WAM Awards help get contaminated properties back into the economic asset column for communities," said Darsi Foss, director of the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program. "They are especially helpful for smaller communities because the work that's produced might be leveraged against other sources of funding."

The DNR's WAM award to the city of De Pere is to help assess a 14-plus acre site known locally as the O'Keefe property. The site has a long history of manufacturing and industrial uses, including welding, fabrication and steel recovery.

In Chilton, the WAM award will be put to use at a 4.4 acre site along the South Branch Manitowoc River that was home to Chilton Plating for more than four decades. Two years ago, the U.S. EPA removed hundreds of drums and vats of hazardous waste. The city and its partner, Austin Management Services, LLC, will use the award to help define the extent of contamination and determine what's necessary to perform a cleanup, helping the city market the site for future development.

The agency's WAM awards are administered by the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program. They are no-cost consulting services to the recipient, and therefore require minimal effort by the awardee. This program is especially useful because there is no match or project administration involved.

Applications can be submitted for the program at any time. Eligible sites include closed or closing manufacturing plants and vacant land with a history of manufacturing. Gas stations, dry cleaners, salvage yards and agricultural coops are not eligible.

For more information, search the DNR website for "WAM".

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Darsi Foss, DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program Director, 608-267-6713

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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