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Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Site

Site Information

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Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Patricia Krause (krause.patricia@epa.gov)
312-886-9506 or 800-621-8431, ext. 69506, 9 a.m. 4:30 p.m. CST

Remedial Project Manager
Scott Hansen (hansen.scott@epa.gov)
312-886-1999 or 800-621-8431 Ext. 61999

Wisconsin DNR Site Coordinators
Jamie Dunn (james.dunn@wisconsin.gov)
715-635-4049

John Robinson (john.robinson@wisconsin.gov)
715-365-8976

Health Risk Advisor
Henry Nehls-Lowe (henry.nehlslowe@wisconsin.gov)
Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services
608-266-3479

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Vaughn Public Library
502 W. Main St.
Ashland, WI
For hours of operation, call 715-682-7060

DNR Spooner Service Center
810 West Maple St.
Spooner, Wis.
To make an appointment call:
715-635-4049

Bad River Public Library
Norma Soulier, Librarian
P.O. Box 39
100 Maple St.
Odanah, Wis.
For hours of Operation call:
715-682-7111, ext. 1532

Red Cliff EPA Office (Fish Hatchery)
88385 Pike Road, Hwy 13 (mailing address)
86395 Hwy 13, Brood Stock Building
Bayfield, Wis.
Contact: 715-779-3650 to make an appointment.

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

March 2014

Phase 1 work, soil and groundwater cleanup under the former gas plant and Kreher Park, will begin this spring and go through early 2015. A wet dredge pilot study in Chequamegon Bay will be conducted this fall.

Residents in the area of the cleanup will be informed of the project schedule and activities planned in 2014 at an information session scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, March 24 at the Social Hall of Our Lady of the Lake Church.

Cleanup work in the area under the former gas plant and at Kreher Park west of the current RV park will involve soil removal followed by covering the area with clean material. Groundwater barriers will be installed to stop groundwater from moving and areas will be capped to limit rain and snowmelt from seeping through the ground and carrying the pollutants the Bay.  A containment structure will be built along the shoreline and groundwater within the contained area will be treated before discharging to the Bay. 

December 2013

EPA is waiting for complete and approvable remedial design documents from NSPW. These design documents develop engineering specifications to cleanup the on land portion of the Ashland/NSP site.  Work can begin once EPA reviews and approves the remedial design.

EPA and Wisconsin DNR are reviewing data to determine whether dry excavation can be safely implemented in Chequamegon Bay. NSPW raised safety concerns with EPA’s dry dredge cleanup method and performed sampling in the bay to collect data that would address the safety concerns. The Agencies are now reviewing the data and will determine if dry excavation can be safely done or if a change in the cleanup plan is needed.

There is the option in the cleanup plan for NSPW to perform a pilot test to prove that a wet dredge only without any dry excavation in Chequamegon Bay can achieve the established cleanup standard. EPA and DNR will meet with NSPW over the winter to discuss plans for this pilot test.

You can read more details in Community Update About Cleanup Plans (PDF) (4 pp, 2.34MB)

November 2013

EPA and Wisconsin DNR entered into an agreement with Northern States Power Wisconsin to perform soil and groundwater cleanup under the former NSPW gas plant and Kreher Park . The contaminated soil and groundwater on the shore must be managed first to stop continuing pollution movement toward Chequamegon Bay.  So far,  complete and approvable remedial design documents that develop  the engineering specifications for the cleanup have not been received and construction did not begin as originally scheduled. Once EPA receives,  reviews and approves the complete remedial design from NSPW, the on land part of the cleanup work can then begin.

For contaminated sediment in sixteen acres of Chequamegon Bay, EPA chose a wet dredge and dry excavation cleanup plan. NSPW raised safety concerns with the dry dredge cleanup.   EPA and DNR required NSPW to perform sampling in the bay to collect the necessary data that would address this safety concern. The Agencies are now reviewing the data and will determine whether the dry excavation method can be safely implemented or if there is a need to change the selected cleanup plan.

There  is the option in the cleanup plan  for NSPW to perform a pilot test to prove that a wet dredge only without any dry excavation can achieve the established cleanup standard. EPA and DNR will meet with NSPW over the winter to discuss plans for this pilot test.

You can read more details in Community Update About Cleanup Plans (PDF) (4 pp, 2.34MB)

September 2013

The record of decision that details the cleanup plan for the Ashland/NSP Lakefront site has not changed since it was issued on September 30, 2010.  An agreement was signed on October 18, 2012, for the work on the on-land portion of the site.  EPA is currently evaluating safety and technical concerns raised regarding the selected sediment remedy which has delayed the start of negotiations for cleanup of Chequamegon Bay.  Northern States Power is currently collecting additional data in the bay.  EPA will evaluate the new data to determine if the selected sediment remedy can be safely implemented or whether a remedy change is necessary. 

There are two phases to EPA’s final cleanup plan.

Phase 1 is about the on-land portion of the site and some design work has started.   The cleanup will:

Phase 2 cleanup is about Chequamegon Bay. 

April 2013

Demolition of both the Waste Water Treatment Plant and the NSP service center will start this month. Before demolishing the buildings, asbestos materials will be contained and removed from both facilities. Thirty percent of the remedial design for soil excavation and soil treatment is now under review. Remedial design develops the engineering drawings and specifications for the site cleanup. As part of the pre-design, site ground water will be tested. Negotiations for sediment cleanup in Chequamegon Bay will be starting.

October 2012

The United States District Court entered approval on October 19, 2012, of the consent decree between the United States and Northern States Power Company. Under the proposed settlement Northern States Power Company will perform the on-land portion of the cleanup that includes the areas known as Kreher Park, the Upper Bluff/Filled Ravine and the Copper Falls Aquifer. The cleanup will remove contaminated soil in Kreher Park and the bluff area and install monitoring wells and pump and treat contaminated ground water. The work is expected to take approximately two to three years to complete. An agreement continues to be worked out between the parties for performing and funding the cleanup of contaminated sediment in Chequamegon Bay that is within the site. You can find the court order approving the consent decree, the consent decree and consent decree appendices under Legal Documents on this web site.

Work will begin in the fall to demolish the existing buildings on the NSP property and at the former wastewater treatment plant located on the site. Cleanup work will start up in the spring of 2013. The Wisconsin DNR sponsored two neighborhood meetings on Oct. 22 to share information with the community about upcoming activities.

August 2012

The legal agreement between EPA and Northern States Power to begin cleanup of the Ashland/NSP site is final. Northern States Power will design, construct and carry out the cleanup plan for the land portion of the site that includes areas known as Kreher Park, the Upper Bluff/Filled Ravine and the Copper Falls Aquifer. The cleanup will remove contaminated soil in Kreher Park and the bluff area and install monitoring wells and pump and treat contaminated ground water. The work is expected to take approximately two to three years to complete. Cleanup of sediment in Chequamegon Bay is not part of this agreement.

You may comment on the Consent Decree during a 30 day period that started on August 14. Comments are due by September 13 and should refer to United States v. Northern States Power Company, Case No. 3:12-cv-00565 (W.D. Wis.), D.J> Ref. No. 90-11-2-08879 and be addressed to the: Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20044-7611 or to pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov.

May 2011

On April 27, 2011 EPA sent a special notice letter to the organizations, known as potentially responsible parties (PRPs), who may be responsible for contributing to contamination at the Ashland Superfund site. In summary a special notice letter requests reimbursement of costs already incurred and future costs; notifies the PRPs of a 60-day period of formal negotiation with EPA to negotiate reimbursement and cleanup action; and shares general and site specific information to assist the PRPs in negotiations.

EPA selected a cleanup for sediment in Chequamegon Bay, soil and shallow ground water under Kreher Park and the Upper Bluff/Filled Ravine and deep ground water in the Copper Falls Aquifer. The selected cleanup is described in a document called the Record of Decision and summarized in a fact sheet (EPA Picks Cleanup Plan for Soil, Sediment and Ground Water (PDF) (4pp, 440K) October 2010 )

This cleanup will serve as the final action for soil, ground water and sediment contamination at the site and will require the following actions:

Because of the large amount of wood waste and non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) in the near shore area of the bay EPA selected dry excavation as the recommended alternative. NAPLs are underground pockets of tar and other materials that don't readily mix with water. EPA does allow for a pilot test to determine if wet dredging near shore can achieve the performance standards of excavation. If wet dredging achieves performance standards then EPA in consultation with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will issue a document called an Explanation of Significant Difference selecting wet dredging for the bay sediment.

March 2011

Northern States Power of Wisconsin and its contractors will start survey and sediment sampling work at the Ashland NSP Lakefront Superfund site on February 28. The work will take place in Chequamegon Bay in the area between the boat landing and the marina and will go on for three weeks, ending about March 18. Survey and sampling results will be used to help with the design of cleanup activities at the site. Work will be performed under the supervision of EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

October 2010

EPA approved the Record of Decision that outlines EPA's plan for cleaning up contaminated soil, sediment and ground water at the Ashland/NSP Superfund site. EPA's final cleanup plan includes:

The estimated cost for this cleanup plan is between $84 million and $98 million.
Copies of the record of decision and other documents are on this web site and at information repositories listed on the right.

 

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

 


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