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Congressional District # 07


EPA ID# WID046536785
Last Updated: January, 2012

Site Description

The two-acre Scrap Processing Co. site, located approximately one mile northwest of Medford in Taylor County, Wisconsin, currently operates as a salvage yard. From 1955 to 1974 and periodically until 1981, the company cracked lead and acid batteries to reclaim the lead that was smelted onsite. During the battery crushing operation, the equivalent of 399,000 gallons of acid wastes, contaminated with heavy metals from the batteries, ran from the crushing area along an unlined ditch and into an unlined pond. The pond has intermittently overflowed into the Black River, located along one side of the site, contaminating it with heavy metals and acid. Old cars, car parts, and other materials that are commonly found in scrap yards are present on the site.

The site is bordered by a residential area, a few older homes, and a mobile home park. Two of the older homes across the street from the site use private wells. The residents in the subdivision to the east of the site and people in the mobile home park use water from Medford municipal wells. Fishing is common along the river, and several parks are located along the western side of the river across from the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soils and sediments are contaminated with heavy metals, including lead, barium, copper, and zinc. Elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also found in soil samples. Potential health threats to people include accidental ingestion of, and coming into direct contact with, contaminated soil and sediments. The main contaminant of concern at this site is lead to which pregnant women and children are highly sensitive. In early 1990, five nearby private wells were sampled and showed no evidence of contamination. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1984, the potentially responsible party (PRP) drained the unlined pond and disposed of the liquid in the municipal storm sewer. A total of 7,200 gallons of water from the pond were transported to a manhole in the city park that is located on the eastern side of the river. The first six inches of lead-contaminated soil and sediment were excavated and hauled away for offsite disposal at a hazardous waste landfill. Remaining contaminated soil was classified as solid waste and was disposed of at the Medford Municipal Landfill. Excavation and removal of wastes were completed in 1986. Additional soil, contaminated with PCBs and lead, was excavated and disposed of in an offsite landfill, ending late in 1994.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an investigation into the nature and extent of the remaining contamination at the site in 1992. The investigation reviewed the completed initial actions, defined the contaminants of concern, and provided recommendations on whether additional site cleanup is required. A record of decision (ROD) was signed in September 1997. The remedial design (RD) was finalized in October 1998; the remedial action (RA) started in 1998.  Quarterly rounds of groundwater sampling were conducted through February 2002.  Sampling results indicated that soil and groundwater cleanup goals were achieved. The first five-year review was conducted in April 2004 and documented that the remedial action performed at the site was constructed according to the requirements of the record of decision and the remedy functioned as designed.

In April 2009, the second five-year review for the Site was signed by EPA. The assessments of this five-year review found that the remedy was constructed in accordance with the requirements of the ROD. The remedy components, including the excavation and removal of contaminated soils and short-term groundwater monitoring, are functioning as designed. The remedy components of the ROD are operating as intended and are considered to be protective of human health and the environment in the short-term. The immediate threats have been addressed and the remedy is expected to be protective in the long-term when institutional controls are fully implemented at the Site. The next five year review is due by April 2014.




Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
lolita hill (hill.lolita@epa.gov)
(312) 353-1621

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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