Site investigation toolkit
This toolkit is provided as a "one-stop shop" for site investigation-related resources and guidance for environmental professionals and others working with the DNR. The toolkit provides a framework for site investigation work plans and reports, and includes helpful checklists and fact sheets.
Codes and regulations
The site investigation related requirements and applicable cleanup standards typically help guide the extent of the site investigation efforts. The following rules provide the overall framework for conducting and evaluating a complete site investigation.
- NR 700
See s. NR 700.11 (3g), Wis. Adm. Code, for report submittal requirements.
- NR 712
See ch. NR 712, Wis. Adm. Code, for consultant signature and certification requirements.
- NR 716
See ch. NR 716, Wis. Adm. Code, for detailed site investigation requirements.
- NR 720
See ch. NR 720, Wis. Adm. Code, for soil performance standards and residual contaminant levels.
- NR 140
See ch. NR 140, Wis. Adm. Code, for groundwater enforcement standards and related responses.
- NR 141
See ch. NR 141, Wis. Adm. Code, for monitoring well construction, development and filling and sealing requirements.
- NR 347
See ch. NR 347, Wis. Adm. Code, for sediment sampling, monitoring and disposal criteria for dredging projects.
The following documents can help to prepare for site investigation field activities.
- Site Investigation Report Preparation Checklist - s. NR 716.15 (4400-317), Wis. Adm. Code: This checklist may be used as an outline for preparation of a site investigation report. Use of this checklist is not required. It is best used along with other site investigation related guidance.
- Site Investigation Scoping: Identifying Contaminants of Concern, ch. NR 716.07, Wis. Adm. Code (RR-101): This guidance can help select the appropriate chemicals for analysis in a ch. NR 716, Wis. Adm. Code site investigation. Identifying the potential contaminants of concern is an important first step in any site investigation.
- Site Investigation Work Plan Preparation Checklist - s. NR 716.07 (4400-316), Wis. Adm. Code : This checklist can be used as a tool for ensuring that all the ch. NR 716, Wis. Adm. Code requirements for a site investigation work plan are considered or addressed.
- Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water? (RR-0117): Ch. NR 716, Wis. Adm. Code, requires a site investigation to evaluate known or potential impacts to environmental media (including sediment and surface water) and receptors (e.g., fish, bird, animal and plant life) as well as the potential pathways for migration of the contamination. This guidance lists factors to evaluate during a site-specific evaluation.
The following sections include links to guidance related to NR 716 site investigations. These documents provide guidance for how to obtain, evaluate and document site investigation information, as well as how to avoid some common issues found with incomplete site investigation reports.
- Administrative Completeness Review at Closure, ch. NR 726 FAQs (RR-975): See question 16 for soil data tables.
- Calculating Soil RCLs for PAHs - s. NR 722.11 (1), Wis. Adm. Code (RR-087)
- Soil Residual Contaminant Level Determinations Using the U.S. EPA Regional Screening Level Web Calculator (RR-890)
- Risk Assessment Approach for Calculating cPAH Non-Industrial Direct Contact RCLs - ch. NR 722.11 (1), Wis. Adm. Code (RR-079)
- Guidance on Soil Performance Standards (RR-528)
- Guidance for Cover Systems as Soil Performance Standard Remedies (RR-709)
- RCL Spreadsheet Updated June 2018 (RR-052g)
- PCB Remediation in Wisconsin under the One Cleanup Program Memorandum of Agreement (RR-786)
- Notification of Drinking Water Sample Results – Template Letter (RR-0133)
- Notification of Drinking Water Sample Results (No Exceedance) – Template Letter (RR-0134)
- Understanding Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Behavior in Groundwater: Investigation Assessment and Limitations of Monitored Natural Attenuation (RR-699)
- Using Natural Attenuation to Clean Up Contaminated Groundwater: What Landowners Should Know (RR-671)
- Guidance On Natural Attenuation For Petroleum Releases (RR-614)
Non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL)
- Assessment Guidance for Sites with Residual Weathered Product (RR-787)
- Smear Zone Contamination (RR-712)
- Addressing Vapor Intrusion at Remediation and Redevelopment Sites in Wisconsin (RR-800)
- Contains information about source control actions needed for vapor and vapor screening values.
- Sub-Slab Vapor Sampling Procedures - Vapor Intrusion (RR-986)
- Vapor Intrusion Resources for Environmental Professionals webpage
- Consensus-Based Sediment Quality Guidelines (RR-088)
- Management of Contaminated Soil and Other Solid Wastes (RR-060)
- Greener Site Investigation Techniques (RR-938)
- Guidance: When should a site investigation enter surface water? (RR-0117)
The following list and links provide both required and recommended DNR forms.
Forms required per s. NR 716.15(4)(g), Wis. Adm. Code
- Soil Boring Log Information (Form 4400-122)
- Well/Drillhole/Borehole Abandonment form (Fill and Seal) (Form 3300-305)
- Groundwater Monitoring Well Information (DNR form 4400-89)
- Monitoring Well Construction (Form 400-113A and 4400-113B - combined)
- SI Sampling Results Notification (Form 4400-249): This form may be used to fulfill the sample result notification requirements of s. NR 716.14, Wis. Adm. Code.
- Technical Assistance, Environmental Liability Clarification or Post-Closure Modification Request (Form 4400-237): Use this form to submit a Site Investigation Report for DNR review and response; provide the report with the applicable fee per ch. NR 749, Wis. Adm. Code when requesting a response.
- Chain of Custody Record (Form 4100-145): This form is used to document how samples are handled between the time they are collected and analyzed, from the DNR's Laboratory Services Program.
Fees and request for DNR review
Submittal of a Site Investigation Report is required within 60 days of completion of the field investigation and receipt of laboratory data, per s. NR 716.15, Wis. Adm. Code.
To submit a Site Investigation Report for DNR review and response, provide the report with the applicable fee using Technical Assistance, Environmental Liability Clarification or Post-Closure Modification Request (Form 4400-237). Follow the instructions within the form.
Submittal of the Site Investigation Report for review and response is highly recommended, to help avoid delays during a subsequent closure review if the investigation is found to be incomplete.
Chapter NR 700.11 (3g), Wis. Adm. Code, requires the submittal of both a paper and electronic copy of all reports. For requirements and guidance on submitting the Site Investigation Work Plan and Report to the DNR, see Guidance for Submitting Documents (RR-690).
See ch. NR 712, Wis. Adm. Code, Qualifications and Certifications (RR-081) on the required certification per type of NR 700 report.
Site investigation checklist
The Site Investigation Report Preparation Checklist - s. NR 716.15, Wis. Adm. Code (Form 4400-317) can be used as a tool to ensure all ch. NR 716, Wis. Adm. Code, requirements for a complete site investigation are addressed. This checklist also provides a suggested format for site investigation reports and shows the relationship between each section of the site investigation report and the Case Closure Request (Form 4400-202).