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Cedar Creek Site

Site Information
Contact Information

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

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

Assistant Regional Counsel
Richard Nagle (nagle.richard@epa.gov)
312-353-8222 or 800-621-8431, ext. 38222

Wisconsin DNR State Project Manager
Margaret Brunette
(margaret.brunette@wisconsin.gov) 414-263-8557

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Cedarburg City Hall
W63 N645 Washington Ave.
Cedarburg, Wis.

Cedarburg Public Library
W63 N583 Hanover Ave.
Cedarburg, Wis.

Background

The Cedar Creek site is in the historic city and township of Cedarburg (Ozaukee County) in southeastern Wisconsin in a suburban residential area north of Milwaukee. The entire site consists of Mercury Marine's Plant 2 and the segment of Cedar Creek from below the Ruck Pond dam to the point where it meets the Milwaukee River. This segment includes open stretches of creek as well as areas known as Columbia Pond, Wire and Nail Pond, and the former Hamilton Pond for a total of 5.1 creek miles. The Milwaukee River is currently not part of the Cedar Creek site and is under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. For EPA to address the contamination in the Milwaukee River, WDNR needs to propose and list it under the Agency's National Priorities List as a separate Superfund site. Or, WDNR could work on the river under its own Natural Resources Trustee authority. Exit EPA Disclaimer

PCBs from boat manufacturer Mercury Marine contaminated Cedar Creek and the Plant 2 property. It operated a plant on St. John Avenue from 1951 to 1982. Fluids, containing PCBs, leaked from equipment and were washed into floor drains. These drains emptied into storm sewers. Those sewers emptied into Ruck Pond on the creek and flowed into the Milwaukee River.

Mercury Marine's Plant 2 building was demolished in May 2005. The building, which was in poor condition, also contained PCB contamination. An investigation and feasibility study outlining possible cleanup options was completed in October 2007. A decision on how to clean up Plant 2 was made in March 2008.

Another likely source of contamination in the area was Amcast, a former local automotive industry supplier in Cedarburg. It also had a plant that may have emptied PCBs into the creek via storm sewers. One of them apparently emptied into Hamilton Pond, upstream of Green Bay Road. Due to heavy rains and high creek flow in 1996, the Hamilton Dam collapsed and was removed. The pond was drained leaving behind several acres of mud flats containing PCBs.

Sewers near the Amcast plant and soil under the building were sampled in November 2005. Since Amcast had filed for bankruptcy, its contractor was told to stop working and the results were never analyzed. Soil samples were also taken on private properties near the Amcast plant in summer 2005. Some of those samples showed PCB contamination slightly above what EPA considers to be safe levels.

Since the company is bankrupt, the Amcast portion of the project was separated from Cedar Creek in 2009. EPA is using Superfund money to address the contamination at and near Amcast Industrial Corp.

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What are PCBs?

PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, are toxic chemicals that were once widely used as industrial coolants, insulators and lubricants. PCBs can concentrate in the environment and the food chain, resulting in health hazards to people, fish and wildlife. Because of these dangers, the U.S. government banned the manufacture of new PCBs in 1976. PCBs still in use are strictly regulated.

PCB Information

EPA's PCB home page
PCBs and your health (WI DHFS) Exit EPA Disclaimer
Toxicological profile for PCBs
Tox FAQs for PCBs

Site Updates | News Releases | Fact Sheets || Technical Documents || Legal Agreements || Public Meetings


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

September 2013

The site is divided into two separate projects:

Plant 2 was separated from the rest of the site under a 2002 legal agreement between EPA and Mercury Marine because, at the time, the company was farther along with its Plant 2 studies. Both believed it was important to finalize a cleanup plan as soon as possible for this source of contamination into Cedar Creek.

The first stage of the cleanup is winding down. Mercury Marine is removing PCB-contaminated concrete slabs and soil from the property. The company brought heavy equipment onto the site to dig up the slabs and soil which are stored on-site until they are trucked to a licensed facility for proper disposal. The contamination came from fluids that leaked into floor drains during the manufacturing process. EPA expects Mercury Marine to complete this cleanup by the end of December, weather permitting.

On November 27, Judge Rudolph T. Randa of the district court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin approved and entered a legal document referred to as (ECF Doc. 3-1 3-5), "Remedial Action Consent Decree for the Plant 2 Operable Unit at the Cedarville Dams (a/k/a Cedar Creek OU1 Plant 2) Superfund Site." The Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA, lodged the proposed decree in federal court on October 9. This document legally requires Mercury Marine to clean up Plant 2 as described above.

EPA finalized a document in March 2008 called the "record of decision" that describes the entire Plant 2 cleanup plan. Mercury Marine is currently looking for someone to redevelop the Plant 2 site. A ground water cleanup plan will be outlined in another record of decision in a few years.

Cedar Creek is still being studied by Mercury Marine. EPA is currently reviewing proposed cleanup options. A proposed cleanup plan should be available for public review and comment in late 2014 with a record of decision planned for 2015.

EPA and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continue to oversee Cedar Creek and Plant 2 under the federal Superfund law.

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