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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# WID006183826
Last Updated: February, 2012

Site Description

The Northern Engraving Corporation (NEC) site is located in Sparta, Monroe County, Wisconsin.  The site is presently the location of a NEC manufacturing facility. NEC produces metal name plates, dials, and decorative trim for the automotive industry, utilizing anodizing, chemical etching, and chromate conversion-coating processes.  The NEC facility is adjacent to residential and business areas and abuts the La Crosse River which forms the southern boundary of the site. Domestic water is supplied to most residences in the city through a public distribution system. The closest private well is located approximately one-quarter mile from the NEC facility.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983 and finalized the site on the NPL in September 1984 because of the potential for soil, groundwater, and surface water contamination due to past wastewater treatment and disposal practices employed at the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Analysis of onsite groundwater showed elevated levels of copper, fluoride, nickel, zinc, 1,1- dichloroethylene (DCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride. Soil samples, collected below the sludge lagoon, sludge dump site, and seepage pit, showed elevated levels of one or more of the above-mentioned inorganic indicator parameters. In addition, both the sludge lagoon and the sludge dump site contained quantities of metal hydroxide sludge. 

Cleanup Progress

The remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS), which was developed by potentially responsible parties (PRPs) under a September 1985 administrative order on consent (AOC) with EPA and the State, identified four areas on the NEC facility as sources of contamination. These areas included a sludge lagoon, a seepage pit, a sludge dump site, and a lagoon drainage ditch. 

EPA signed a record of decision (ROD) on September 30, 1987, selecting a cleanup remedy for the site. The PRPs had consented to implement the recommended remedy for the site under the September 1985 AOC. In 1988, the PRPs excavated and consolidated 4,400 cubic yards of sludge and soil, installed a cover over the lagoon, imposed access and deed restrictions, and implemented groundwater monitoring.

Cleanup goals have been achieved at the site. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in October 1997.  

The first two five-year reviews for the site were completed in June 1994 and September 2000. The third five-year review, completed in August 2005, concluded that the remedy at the site is functioning as designed and continues to be protective of human health and the environment; all threats at the site have been addressed through stabilizing and capping the contaminated soil and sludges, installing  fencing, and implementing an institutional control. 

EPA completed the fourth five-year review on April 6, 2010 and concluded that the remedy is still functioning as intended, and is still protective of human health and the environment.

Property Reuse

The property is in use by Northern Engraving Corporation, but the areas addressed by the remedial action are not being reused.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheila sullivan (sullivan.sheila@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5251

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
bri bill
(312) 353-6646




Site Profile Information

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


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