Brownfields Study Group
The Brownfields Study Group was created in 1998 at the direction of the governor and state Legislature, to evaluate Wisconsin's current brownfields initiatives and recommend changes, as well as propose additional incentives for the cleanup and reuse of abandoned or underused properties with real or perceived contamination. The study group continues to drive important brownfields policy changes in Wisconsin.
Brownfields Study Group members include representatives from local government, environmental consulting firms, industry associations, law firms, conservation groups, state agencies, universities and others.
Reports and letters
The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Wisconsin's Brownfields Investments
This study assessed the economic and fiscal impacts of state investment of public funds into the clean up and reuse of brownfield properties. The UW-Whitewater study, prepared by the University's Fiscal and Economic Research Center for the Brownfields Study Group and the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute, calculates that local governments in Wisconsin gain $88.5 million annually from redeveloped brownfields.
2015 Brownfields Study Group Report
Wisconsin's Brownfields Study Group has offered recommendations on the DNR's Remediation and Redevelopment Program and state brownfields policies in a 2015 Report - Investing in Wisconsin to the governor, legislature and policy-makers.
There are no upcoming meetings scheduled at this time.
If you would like meeting materials from previous years, please contact Mick Skwarok.
In 2018, the study group celebrated its 20th year of existence. The study group continues to build on its legacy of progress, which has included the following successes based on recommendations from the 1999 Brownfields Study Group and 2000 Brownfields Study Group Reports.
- Created the DNR Brownfield Site Assessment Grant Program, which awarded $18 million to more than 200 communities to begin investigation and cleanup on more than 1,600 acres. These activities included 825 site assessments and investigations, the removal of more than 700 storage tanks and containers and the demolition of more than 630 structures and buildings.
- Created the DNR Brownfields Green Space and Public Facilities Grant Program, which helped communities clean up contaminated properties for public use. The Green Space Program awarded more than $2 million to 18 communities.
- Created the Wisconsin Brownfields Insurance Program (WBIP) and VPLE insurance program. Only two other states in the country have similar programs, which enable developers, businesses, local governments and other parties involved in cleaning up contaminated properties to obtain insurance, helping them manage risks for unplanned expenses related to brownfields redevelopment.
- Helped establish the One Cleanup Program (OCP) Agreement between U.S. EPA Region 5 and the DNR. The OCP is the most comprehensive agreement of its kind in the country and will help expedite cleanups of contaminated properties across Wisconsin.
- Numerous other changes to state liability and financial programs, which continue to help expedite the efficient cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields across the state, and maintain Wisconsin's status as one of the top brownfield programs in the nation.