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Congressional District # 06


EPA ID# WID056247208
Last Updated: December, 2014

Site Description

The 16-acre Lemberger Transport and Recycling (LTR) site is located in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, approximately one-quarter mile from the affiliated Lemberger Landfill (LL) site. Both the LTR and LL sites are on the National Priorities List, and are also near the active Ridgeview Landfill. Farm and wide-spaced rural residences that utilize groundwater for drinking are near the site, and the area is used for hunting. The nearby Branch River is used for swimming, fishing, and canoeing.

The LTR site operated as an unlined disposal area from 1970 to 1976. Wastes disposed at the site include an estimated 900,000 gallons of wood tar distillates, paint wastes, and other industrial wastes. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the LTR site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983 and finalized the site on the NPL in September 1984.

Site Responsibility

In 1985, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) replaced residential wells where VOCs were detected with much deeper wells. EPA funded the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study. A group of potentially responsible parties known as the Lemberger Site Remediation Group (LSRG) have implemented the cleanup actions under EPA and WDNR oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

The groundwater underlying the site and extending as far as 1.5 miles downgradient from the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily including 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene. A number of residential wells are located in the vicinity of the site. Direct contact risks have been addressed by construction of a multi-layer site cover, including a geomembrane layer.

Cleanup Progress

In 1985, WDNR installed replacement wells for seven residences, drawing water from deeper groundwater approximately 250 feet below ground surface.

From 1987 to 1993, EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to identify cleanup alternatives for the site. In 1991, EPA issued a record of decision that deferred remedy selection for the LTR source area and selected a groundwater pump-and-treat system to clean up the groundwater at the site. In 1992, the LSRG entered into a consent decree with EPA to implement the selected remedy, including the following components: a groundwater pump-and-treat system; deed restrictions; and, in accordance with a 1993 administrative order, the location, removal, and disposal of drums, construction of a fence around the site, construction of a multilayered soil cover over the site, and soil vapor extraction work. In November 1993, the LSRG installed a six-foot chain-link fence around the LTR site. By November 1994, the LSRG excavated and disposed of 1380 drums and 180 jars of waste. Because investigations indicated that soil vapor extraction would not be effective, this technology was not implemented. In 1995 and 1996, the LSRG constructed the pump-and-treat system and site cover and initiated operation of the pump-and-treat system. In 2001, the LSRG added four pumping wells to the pump-and-treat system. The pump-and-treat system operated until August 2006.

From August 2006 through August 2008, the LSRG conducted a monitored natural attenuation (MNA) study, which included a temporary shutdown of the pump-and-treat systerm. EPA has allowed continued shutdown of the pump-and-treat system because operating the existing system provides little benefit.

EPA conducted a five-year review of the site remedy in 2001. In the five-year review, EPA made a number of determinations, largely based on the MNA study, including the following: the groundwater monitoring plans needed to be updated; the existing pump-and-treat system had limited effectiveness because a substantial amount of highly-contaminated groundwater from the LTR site was not being captured; there were deficiencies in operation of the pump-and-treat system; release of VOCs to groundwater from the LTR site will continue for a very long period of time; it would not be appropriate for EPA to accept MNA as a major component of the groundwater cleanup based on information available at that time; contaminant entry into Branch Creek needed to be evaluated; and options to improve the pump-and-treat system needed to be evaluated.  WDNR staff determined that contaminant migration into Branch Creek will not cause a significant threat to fish or wildlife.

EPA and the State have been re-evaluating the existing data, and the LSRG installed several additional monitoring wells at the site during 2012/2013. A more thorough MNA study was initiated during the spring of 2013 and is expected to continue approximately two years. EPA and the State expect to use the additional data to make a decision on whether MNA is a viable remedy for the remaining groundwater contamination at the site.

The next five-year review is scheduled to be completed by mid-July 2015.

Property Reuse

The site owner entered an Environmental Protection Easement and Declaration of Restrictive Covenant with the LSRG restricting usage of groundwater and disturbance of soils. Groundwater in the vicinity of the contaminant plume is restricted through State of Wisconsin Regulation NR 812.09. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
demaree collier (collier.demaree@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0214

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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