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Milwaukee Die Casting Site

Site Information
  • Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee County)
  • EPA ID# N/A
  • Alias(es): N/A
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (pastor.susan@epa.gov)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325

On Scene Coordinator
Kathy Halbur
(halbur.kathy@epa.gov)
920-662-5424

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Steve Mueller
(stephend.mueller@wisconsin.gov) 414-263-8631

Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Rob Thilboldeaux
(robert.thiboldeaux@wisconsin.gov) 608-267-6844

Redeveloment Authority of the City of Milwaukee
Karen Dettmer
(karen.dettmer@milwaukee.gov)
414-286-5642

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Milwaukee Public Library
814 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

Background

The 3.7-acre Milwaukee Die Casting site, 4132 N. Holton St., Milwaukee, is comprised of a 70,000 square-foot-building that produced aluminum and zinc alloy parts for a variety of industries from 1952 to 1997. A fire retardant oil which contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated solvents, and cyanide, was used in the die casting business and stored on the property.  Another chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) was also used and stored in the “trimming room.”  A tunnel system, which provided access and utility lines to the die-casting machines, is located under the die-casting room floor. The tunnels are approximately 3-6 feet wide and up to 10 feet deep. Fluids collected in the tunnel system were discharged to an outdoor sump located near the northeastern wall of the building.  The tunnels are now filled with PCB-contaminated water which was discharging to the storm sewers.
From 1997 to 2009, some cleanup activities occurred, however, when the owner of the property passed away in 2009, the property was abandoned and fell into disrepair. The city of Milwaukee foreclosed and transferred ownership to the city’s Redevelopment Authority in March 2013.  EPA determined that a cleanup is warranted because the conditions are a threat to people and the environment.

Site Updates | Fact Sheets | Technical Documents | Legal Agreements


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Site Updates

June 2014

EPA is overseeing a cleanup of the property. Two companies, Pharmacia LLC and Fisher Controls International LLC, are doing the cleanup per a March 2013 legal agreement.  PCBs, asbestos, and TCE are the main contaminants being removed.

The tunnels will be cleaned up and the contaminated soil will be removed this summer and fall.  The work involves the use of heavy equipment such as excavators.  There will also be increased truck traffic on Capitol Drive and Holton Street.  Air quality will be monitored and steps are being taken to reduce airborne dust on and off the site.  The sidewalk along Milwaukee Die Casting is closed. Pedestrians should use the sidewalk across Holton or Richards Streets.

EPA is working closely with the Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Department of Health Services on the cleanup which is in its second year.  During the first year, the property was secured, disconnected from the storm sewer and utilities, and extensively sampled so the agencies could better understand the contamination.  Asbestos and “universal waste” (exit signs, light ballasts, thermostats, etc.) have been removed and the building demolished.  Non-hazardous waste is being taken to a licensed landfill in Muskego, Wis. while hazardous waste is going to EPA-approved landfills in Michigan, Alabama, and Texas.

When the cleanup is complete, the property will have potential for commercial or industrial redevelopment.

Fact Sheets

Technical Documents

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Legal Agreements

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