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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# WID006183826
Last Updated: April, 2013

Site Description

The Northern Engraving Corporation (NEC) Superfund site is located at 803 South River Street in Sparta, Monroe County, Wisconsin.  The 40-acre 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.  NEC's past wastewater treatment and disposal practices employed at the site had led to contamination of site soil, groundwater, and surface water.

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 NEC site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983 and finalized the site on the NPL in September 1984. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Analysis of on-site groundwater samples 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 inorganic compounds. In addition, both the sludge lagoon and the sludge dump site contained quantities of metal hydroxide sludge. 

Cleanup Progress

The potentially responsible parties (PRPs) conducted a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the NEC site under a September 1985 administrative order on consent (AOC) with EPA and the state.  The RI report 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 a September 1985 AOC.  In 1988, the PRPs excavated and consolidated 4,400 cubic yards of sludge and soil from certain areas of the site and placed the material in the sludge lagoon. A cap was installed over the sludge lagoon. The PRPs also backfilled the seepage pit with native soil, and implemented regular groundwater monitoring. A deed affadavit, which proved information on site contamination, remediation, and re-use restrictions, was recorded.

Cleanup goals have been achieved at the site. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in October 1997.  In November 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and EPA approved the termination of groundwater monitoring and the abandonment of monitoring wells since contamination had not been detected.

The first three five-year reviews (FYR) for the site were completed in June 1994, September 2000, and August 2005, respectively.  EPA completed the fourth FYR on April 6, 2010.  Similar to the third FYR, the fourth FYR report concluded that the remedy at the site is functioning as designed and remains protective of human health and the environment.  All exposure threats at the site have been addressed through stabilizing and capping the contaminated soil and sludges, installing fencing, and recording the deed affadavit as an institutional control (IC). The 2010 FYR report also recommended that the deed affadavit be replaced by a deed restriction in order to enforce property-use restrictions. 

In late 2012, an Environmental Deed Restriction and Environmental Easement document ("restrictive covenant") was prepared for the site property. The restrictive covenant is currently under review by EPA, WDNR and NEC, and should be recorded in mid-2013. The covenant will protect the site remedy and prohibit the use of groundwater and well installation on the site.  NEC continues to maintain the property as well as the capped and covered areas.

Property Reuse

NEC to operate its manufacturing facility on the site. The areas addressed by the remedial actions 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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