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Glossary of terms used in BRRTS on the Web

These following terms are used in the Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) on the web (BOTW).

Specific events during the history of the cleanup of a contaminated site.
Activity name:
The name of a "site" in BRRTS and generally refers to past or current "causers" of a response action. The location name may be different and reflect the most current property use especially if it is a regulated facility.
Activity number:
The BRRTS identification number assigned to each activity in the database. The first two digits represent the activity type, the second two digits represent the county, and the last six digits are randomly assigned by the BRRTS system.
Activity type:
Activity type divides the data in BRRTS into separate modules, or groups of activities. Those groups include:
  • Abandoned Container (AC):
    An abandoned container with potentially hazardous contents has been inspected and recovered. No known discharge to the environment has occurred. If the container discharged a hazardous substance, a Spills activity will be created at this location (See “Spills” below). Abandoned Container activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '08'.
  • Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST):
    A LUST site has contaminated soil and/or groundwater with petroleum, which includes toxic and cancer causing substances. However, given time, petroleum contamination naturally breaks down in the environment (biodegradation). Some LUST sites may emit potentially explosive vapors. LUST activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '03'.
  • Environmental Repair Program (ERP):
    ERP sites are sites other than LUSTs that have contaminated soil and/or groundwater. Examples include industrial spills (or dumping) that need long term investigation, buried containers of hazardous substances, and closed landfills that have caused contamination. The ERP module includes petroleum contamination from above-ground (but not from underground) storage tanks. ERP activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '02'.
    A discharge of a hazardous substance that may adversely impact, or threaten to impact public health, welfare or the environment. Spills are usually cleaned up quickly. Spill activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '04'.
  • General Property Information (GP):
    This activity type consists of records of various milestones related to liability exemptions, liability clarifications, and cleanup agreements that have been approved by the DNR to clarify the legal status of the property. General Property activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '07'.
  • Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE):
    VPLEs are an elective process in which a property owner conducts an environmental investigation and cleanup of an entire property and then receives limits on future liability for that contamination under Wis. Stats. § 292.15. An individual, business or unit of government can receive the liability exemption after a completed cleanup is approved. VPLE activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '06'.
  • No Action Required by RR Program (NAR):
    There was, or may have been, a discharge to the environment and, based on the known information, the DNR has determined that the responsible party does not need to undertake an investigation or cleanup in response to that discharge. NAR activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '09'.
  • Materials Management:
    Properties that received contaminated materials from a response action site. The materials will be managed on the property in compliance with Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 718. Materials management activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '15'.
  • Facilitywide:
    This activity type is the umbrella activity of a subset of activities at a facility that are part of the same negotiated agreement. Generally these activity types are large sites with continuing operations that have smaller releases over time. There may also be some activities at the same location that should not be part of the Facility-wide Activity Type because they are not covered by the negotiated agreement. Facility-wide activities in BRRTS have an activity number prefix of '16'.
Contaminated site address, not owner address.
“Yes” means there is at least one non-petroleum contaminant at a LUST site or an aboveground petroleum tank discharge site.
Continuing Obligations:
Certain actions for which property owners are legally responsible. They still apply after a property is sold - each new owner becomes responsible for them.
Solvents from dry cleaning operations have caused contamination.
End Date:
Date of case closure. Closure means the DNR determined that a satisfactory environmental cleanup was completed and sent a case closure approval letter to the responsible party. However, for "No Action" status the end date generally refers to the date that the DNR determined that no site investigation was required.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) includes sites on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), proposed for the NPL, and deleted from the NPL.
Included in the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
Facility ID/FID:
Other DNR programs also use these numbers to identify a location, but not all sites in BRRTS have Facility ID numbers.
State responder, the person who was on scene at a spill.
The state, federal agency or DNR program with statutory authority over the management of a site listed in the BRRTS database.
Properties listed as having liens in the database remain subject to the financial obligation until the amount is paid in full, or until the lien is otherwise satisfied, as allowed by law. The satisfaction date reflects the recording date of the satisfaction, date of notice of tax foreclosure, or other applicable legal satisfaction mechanism.

The DNR has the authority to place a financial lien on a property under the following statutes:
  • Wis. Stats. § 292.81, to recover costs incurred for cleanup related activities under Wis. Stats. §§ 292. 11 or 292. 31. These liens are superior to all other liens filed against the property, except in the case of residential properties.
  • Wis. Stats. § 292.63, waiver of Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) deductible.
  • Wis. Stats. § 292.64, to recover costs incurred for removal of abandoned underground storage tanks.
  • Wis. Stats. § 292.65, waiver of Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Program fund (DERF) deductible.
Please be aware that other DNR programs may have encumbrances against liens that are not included in this database.
Location Name:
The location name may be a representation of the most current property use/owner (especially if it is a regulated facility). It often differs from the activity name.
PECFA Funds:
The Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) - a program for reimbursement of eligible response action costs associated with petroleum site cleanup.
The city, town or village where the site is located. Due to reporting differences, this can be based on several factors other than standard listings such as post office listing or local trnslation.
Notice of Contamination:
A Notice of Contamination affidavit on a property, pursuant to Wis. Admin. Code § NR 728.11, provides notice to the public and any prospective purchaser of the existing contamination and the environmental liability associated with the property. If contamination is cleaned up to the requirements described in the first affidavit, a second or amended affidavit is filed with the Register of Deeds. The satisfaction date reflects the recording date of the second affidavit.
PECFA Tracker system number – for reimbursement claims.
Project Manager:
The DNR's project manager (reviewer) for the site cleanup. The person who reviews the work of private consultants that are hired to do the site investigation and cleanup.
A DNR specific area assignment based on location in the state used to manage staff and workload in the program.
Responsible Party:
The person (legal definition, including companies) that appears to be responsible for cleaning up the contamination.
RP Contact/Agent:
The responsible party’s contact person, or the agent for the responsible party.
Petroleum Risk:
Risk applies only to petroleum discharges from underground and aboveground tank systems. High risk factors are:
  • confirmed contamination in a water supply well above a Chapter NR 140 preventive action limit,
  • confirmed free petroleum product with a thickness of .01 feet or more,
  • groundwater contamination above a Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 140 enforcement standard within 1000 feet of a well operated by a public utility,
  • groundwater contamination above a Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 140 enforcement standard within 100 feet of any other water supply well, and
  • groundwater contamination above a Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 140 enforcement standard in fractured bedrock.
Start date:
This is usually the date that the DNR was notified of a discharge to the environment, or otherwise became aware of a discharge to the environment.
  • Open:
    Spills, LUST, ERP, VPLE and Abandoned Container activities in need of clean up or where cleanup is still underway. Not applicable to activity types of "General Property" and "No Action Required by RR Program".
  • Closed:
    Activities where investigation and cleanup of the contamination has been completed and the state has approved all cleanup actions. Not applicable to activity types of "General Property" and "No Action Required by RR Program".
  • Historic Spills:
    Spills where cleanups may have been completed prior to 1996 and no end date is shown. Spill Activities in this category show Historic status. Please contact the regional spills coordinator if you need more information. Click here for spill coordinator contact information.

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