Located in northeast Wisconsin, Green Bay (population 102,313) was founded on a prosperous manufacturing economy that dates back to the 1800s. Many of the manufacturing facilities were built on the banks of the Fox River. With the decline in manufacturing, the city was left with brownfield sites that pose potential health threats to nearby,
densely populated neighborhoods. In order to adapt to the changing economy, Green Bay is redeveloping former manufacturing and commercial sites, helping to generate jobs, create a vibrant downtown, and improve the health and well-being of area residents.
Green Bay received $400K in Brownfields Assessment Funds in 2007. The city leveraged Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cleanup funds and private dollars to redevelop the former Washington Commons Mall on the riverfront into the new Schreiber Foods Corporate Headquarters and mixed use developments. In the past, this site
contained various commercial facilities (filling stations, printing operations) that stored hazardous materials on or adjacent to the site. The Washington Commons Mall was built and opened on the site in 1977. Closing in 2007, the mall remained vacant for almost 5 years
before Schreiber Foods Inc. purchased the property. Schreiber transformed the property into their new headquarters and technology center, which now employs around 500 people. The redeveloped site also features green space and a new east-west street to connect Washington and Adams Streets. During the mall's demolition, salvage work collected
useful building materials such as transformers, meters, circuit breakers, and store fronts which are now being reused in other places.
Continuing the success begun with the Washington Commons Mall redevelopment, the city of Green Bay was awarded another $400K in Brownfields assessment funds in FY13 and is receiving an Area Wide Planning grant in 2015 to plan for revitalization of the University Avenue Corridor, home to a new Veterans Hospital.
WASHINGTON COMMONS STATISTICS:
Redevelopment dollars leveraged
Redevelopment jobs leveraged
Acres Ready for Reuse
Grant Fact Sheets available for 2015 Job Training, Assessment, Cleanup and Area-Wide Planning Grants
$54.3 Million in FY15 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants
On May 28th, the 2015 Assessment and Cleanup grants were announced. 147 communities will receive 243 grants totaling $54.3 million in EPA brownfields funding. These funds can assist communities in returning sites to productive reuse, especially in under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Since the inception of the EPA's Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 105,942 jobs nationwide.
$3.6 Million in FY15 Brownfields Job Training Grants
The 19 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Grantees announced for 2015 have been added to the Grant Fact Sheets. The approximate $3.6 million in grants will be used in communities across the country to recruit and train unemployed and underemployed individuals with the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field.
$4 Million in FY15 Brownfields Area Wide Planning (AWP) Grants
EPA is awarding approximately $4 million in grants to 20 communities across the country to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites as part of the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) program. EPA will award up to $200,000 per recipient so they can engage the community and conduct Brownfields planning activities to consider brownfields site reuses in conjunction with community assets.
Annual Environmental Job Development All-Grantee Meeting
The Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI), under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will host the ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL JOB DEVELOPMENT ALL-GRANTEE MEETING on August 19-20, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia. All EWDJT grantees are strongly encouraged to attend. This meeting provides a unique opportunity to share a variety of approaches to Brownfields job training and development. The focus of the meeting is for grantees to exchange information and ideas with each other and with EPA Regional/Headquarters representatives. The goal of the meeting is to assist every grantee to develop their best possible job training program. For more information please contact Glo Hanne at email@example.com.
ACRES training for Beginners will be held on August 20 from 10:15-11:30 am.
Features in ACRES
Team ACRES is continually improving the system in ways both small and large. Some are transparent to our users and others provide improved reporting (often as a result of a user's suggestion). Here are a few of the recent improvements:
For All ACRES Users:
Area-Wide Planning Grants A new text field has been added to the Area-Wide Planning (AWP) grant home page. For each leveraged funding line, a new Date field is available to allow users to provide timeframe (or dates) for the project area leveraging. This allows for a clearer picture of the leveraging that took place before the AWP grant project was awarded vs. the leveraging that happened later. A help icon is available for the field with sample data entry suggestions.
Cooperative Agreement Home Page - new property map A new property map is displayed on the ACRES Cooperative Agreement (CA) Home page that highlights properties associated to the user's CA. The map allows users to quickly look at all of the properties, identify any errors, and prevent the creation of duplicate properties. The map is located at the top of the 'Properties Addressed by this Cooperative Agreement' section. An icon appears for each associated property. Click any icon and the property name and address are displayed with a link to open the property's home page. Great visual for users - suggested by one of our CAR users!
Property Deletion/Disassociation from a Cooperative Agreement A new feature has been added on the Property Profile Form (PPF) which allows CARs to mark a property for deletion or to mark it for disassociation from the Cooperative Agreement. The new feature is located at the top right hand side of the PPF Property Profile section. CARs should click the delete/disassociate box and then choose a reason (mandatory). Like all other ACRES work packages, it must be submitted to the Project Officer for approval. Project Officers (POs) will notice these work packages in their review list, identified by a status of "Property Marked for Deletion or Disassociation" and status displayed in red font. POs should verify that the property deletion will not negatively affect existing accomplishment counts, before approving them.
This new feature will allow for a faster deletion/disassociation process. It also provides several levels of review to prevent an accomplishment count from being deleted (especially important at the end of the fiscal year when final accomplishment numbers are extremely important).
For Cooperative Agreement Recipients
Property Duplication Check To reduce the creation of duplicate properties, a new check has been added to the Property Add function. When users enter the address information and size for a new property, ACRES performs a validation using the street and zip code to see if a matching property already exists. If one is found, a popup is displayed which:
Notifies the CAR that a similar property already exists,
Lists information on the property (ID, name, address) for use in determining whether the properties are duplicates or unique, and
Gives the CAR the options to either add the property anyhow or return to the Find page to associate the existing property to their grant.
Quarterly Report Enhancements
Delete capability has been added to the Quarterly Reports function. If you wish to delete a report that has NOT been submitted to the Project Officer (PO), click the green 'Delete Quarterly Report' button (located at the top of each report page in the Profile Information section). Note that once reports have been submitted to the PO, they cannot be deleted.
A new tab is available on the CAR Home page to provide easy access to quarterly reports in progress. Click the 'Open Quarterly Reports' tab (located next to the Open Work Packages tab) to display a list of all quarterly reports that are either in progress or have been returned for clarification. There is a number next to the tab title that indicates the number of reports in the list. The listing provides a direct link to the reports and overview information for each.
For Project Officers:
View Work Packages out of Workflow Once a Project Officer (PO) finishes their processing of a work package and assigns it forward, they can no longer see the work package or what is happening with it. A new option has been added to the bottom of the PO Home page to allow POs to view work packages that they have worked on which are not yet complete. Click the "Show" link at the bottom of the Home page to view work packages that have either been submitted to HQ for approval or returned to CARs for clarification. This is a useful tool for following up on work packages that the PO wishes to have completed. This improvement was requested by one of our ACRES Project Officers.
If you have any suggestions for ways ACRES can make your job more effective, please let us know by contacting the ACRES Help Desk at ACRES_Help@epa.gov or (703) 284-8212.
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make"
These are the program results for fiscal year 2015 as of July 1, 2015 (end of third quarter).
Properties w/Assessments Completed
Properties w/Cleanups Completed
Acres Ready for Reuse
Frank Gardner is the Brownfields Coordinator and the Regional Data Coordinator at EPA Region 1. In this role, he works with recipients to help them report their activities and successes in ACRES.
Where Did my ACRES Account Go?
Many Cooperative Agreement Recipient (CAR) users who have not logged in for a while sometimes have to re-register in the system, making them wonder "Where did my account go?" Many of the calls that come into the Help Desk are related to this issue. Don't worry, we have not forgotten about you here at Team ACRES! However, the EPA portal through which our users access the database actually does cancel a CAR user's account after 3 months of inactivity. Yes, that does seem to be a short period of time, and we wish it could be longer, but there are many reasons they have to keep it that way. On the other hand, we do advise CARs to log in at least quarterly to keep their ACRES data up to date.
Also, be on the lookout for quarterly emails from the WAM Portal team asking you to change your password. The password must be changed every 3 months so please be timely and follow the instructions in the email. The subject of the email is Password Expiration Warning and it is sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. It will inform you that:
This is to let you know that the password for your Production EPA application account with user name of (your ACRES user ID) will expire on Mar 8, 2015 (this is a sample date) at 10:59:20 (GMT).
Although the message doesn't specifically say this is for your ACRES account, it is (WAM can only send this 'generic' message to users) and the expiration will affect your ability to log into ACRES.
If your account does get cancelled due to inactivity, you will need to click on the "New to ACRES? One Time Registration" link shown below:
You will essentially create a new account for purposes of the EPA portal by following process. However, don't worry about having to re-associate your grant(s) or re-entering any data. Once you complete the registration process, Team ACRES will merge your new account into your old one, so that all of your grant information and ACRES data will be there waiting for you. After that, we strongly encourage you to log in at least once every quarter in order to keep your data updated and your account active.
CAR users are not the only folks who have account access woes. The Help Desk has received a number of calls from EPA users trying unsuccessfully to register with the system, only to find out they were accidentally trying to register as a CAR user. EPA users do not register through the EPA portal with the process used by CARs. EPA user accounts are established internally through a completely different mechanism. If you are an EPA user trying to set up your account, please contact your Regional Data Coordinator, and they will take care of the rest for you.
Events & Training
Getting Started (Beginners):
For Assessment, RLF, Cleanup, and Section 128(a) Recipients just starting to use ACRES, this training will provide instruction on the process for submitting your property data and demonstrate how to use the tools and functions in ACRES. Approximately 90 minutes.
The Next Level (Advanced):
For Assessment, RLF, Cleanup, and Section 128(a) Recipients that are familiar with using ACRES, this training will provide instruction on how to make ACRES work for you and your property scenarios, and the answers to some commonly asked questions. Approximately 90 minutes.