Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program
The Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program (ACCP) directs cleanups of pesticide and fertilizer contamination that results from sudden accidental spills (acute spills) as well as small releases that occur through normal handling practices that, over time, can add up to significant contamination (long- term cleanups) of soil or groundwater at a given site. The program helps minimize contamination of surface water, groundwater and the surrounding environment by ensuring that all agricultural chemical cleanups are conducted effectively and in a timely manner. The program also provides reimbursement for a portion of eligible cleanup costs incurred by the responsible persons.
In calendar year 2012, the program closed 24 long-term cleanup cases. The number of active cleanup sites as of December 31, 2012 was approximately 144. A total of 10 new long term cases were added in 2012. Program staff reviewed 172 work plans and other cleanup-related reports, 127 cost estimates, and issued 18 landspreading permits associated with long-term remediation sites. Chart 1 provides a graphical illustration of the number of long-term cases that were opened and closed in the last five years.
Staff responded to 26 acute spills and were able to close 18 of them. An additional 18 spill cases from previous years were also closed. Chart 2 shows the numbers of reported spills, the number of spill cases closed in the same year they occurred and the total number of spill cases closed in each of the last five years. Any remaining open acute spill cases will be closed following completion of the necessary investigative and remedial actions.
During calendar year 2012, the program received 48 applications for reimbursement totaling $1,706,526.75 and the ACCP Fund paid a total of $1,038,722.04 in reimbursements for these cases. Chart 3 shows the ACCP reimbursement payments made in each of the last five years.
Due to a structural deficit in the ACCP Fund, the Department was directed to prepare and submit a fund condition report to the legislature. On April 25th, staff from the Environmental Quality Section held a meeting with a number of individuals who represent key stakeholders in the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program. The meeting was conducted to explain how the ACCP operates, to hear stakeholder concerns related to existing ACCP operations, and to receive suggestions for program improvements.
The meeting was favorably received, with few concerns or suggestions for improvement offered. One significant concern voiced was not directly related to program operations, but was related to past lapses of ACCP funds to operate other state government programs. Bureau management reassured stakeholders that Governor Walker and Secretary Brancel remain committed to dedicating the funds for ACCP cleanups. The ACCP fund condition report was submitted to the legislature in June.
In 2012, staff performed a number of outreach efforts to educate the public about the importance of our work. One of these efforts was centered on National Groundwater Awareness Week. In observance of this week in March, staff created a web page and posted a number of videos, photos and links to work the Bureau performs to cleanup contamination and protect our groundwater resources.
Direction for the Coming Year
In the coming year, ACCP staff will continue to manage cleanup activities on more than 150 existing ACCP cleanup sites. We anticipate gaining approximately 10 new long term cleanup cases and will likely respond to an estimated 40 discrete agricultural chemical spills. We estimate that we will provide approximately $1.5 million of financial reimbursement for eligible cleanup work performed.
For more information about any of the bureau programs you may email the department.
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