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NPL Site Narrative for Tomah Fairgrounds

Tomah, Wisconsin

Federal Register Notice:  July 22, 1987

Conditions at proposal (January 22, 1987): The Tomah Fairgrounds Site covers 10 acres southwest of Tomah, Monroe County, Wisconsin. From 1953 to 1959, the city operated the site as an open unlined dump, perhaps with open burning. During this period, the city had a similar operation about 2 miles away where the Tomah Armory is now located. The Tomah Armory is also being proposed for the NPL at this time.

Both Tomah sites accepted primarily municipal refuse. However, Union Camp Corp. notified EPA, as required by CERCLA Section 103(c), that its polyethylene plant in Tomah had sent to the dumps up to 23,770 gallons of solvents and heavy metals, including lead and chromium components of ink wastes from the plant.

After the dump to the southwest stopped operating, the city covered the dumping area. The 10 acres became part of the Tomah Fairgrounds.

Tomah Fairgrounds is in a partly rural, partly residential area. An estimated 9,500 people draw drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the site. The nearest well is about 0.6 mile from the site.

The nearest downslope water, Lake Tomah, is approximately 400 feet from the site. The lake is used for recreational activities. Because the wastes were inadequately covered and there were no diversion structures, contaminated run-off from the dump could have reached nearby surface waters.

In an inspection conducted in August 1984, EPA observed areas where erosion had worn away some of the soil, revealing rusted metal. Thus, people and animals can potentially come into direct contact with hazardous substances.

Status (July 22, 1987): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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