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EPA proposes cleanup plan for South Milwaukee site; comment period begins, meeting Nov. 2

Release Date: 10/18/2006
Contact Information: Bri Bill, (312) 353-6646 Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050

No. 06-OPA183

CHICAGO (Oct. 18, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has proposed a final cleanup plan for residential areas on the former Northwestern Barrel property in South Milwaukee, Wis. A 30-day public comment period runs Oct. 18 - Nov. 17. A public hearing to present the proposal and take oral and written comments is set for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2 at the South Milwaukee City Hall Council Chambers, 2424 15th Ave.

The Superfund site includes two properties totaling 18 acres on the Lake Michigan shoreline near Fifth Avenue and Marina Road. One portion is owned by the Marina Cliffs condominium complex, with the vacant land east of the condos owned by Towne Realty. Northwestern Barrel Co., a chemical drum reconditioning business, operated at the site from the early 1940s to the mid-1960s. The company's operations led to extensive soil contamination in upland areas, the bluff and ravine, and ground water beneath the site.

EPA, with assistance from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has overseen a series of cleanups at the two properties since 1995.

EPA considered four options before selecting the proposed $380,000 cleanup plan. Under this plan, soil in two portions of the Marina Cliffs residential area will be treated. To prevent vapors from entering
basements during the project, venting systems installed along Buildings 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2004 would continue to pump air from basement sumps during the treatment. Also, deed restrictions would require that future sewer and utility projects deeper than three feet must have a health and safety plan.

Most cleanup work at the Towne Realty property portion of the site was completed in early 2006. This winter contractors will restore the wetland on the shoreline and complete erosion control work on the slope.

Based on comments, EPA may modify its recommendation before making it final. More information about the Northwestern Barrel site, including a fact sheet with details on the proposal, is at

Comments can be faxed, mailed or submitted via an electronic form. Send comments to Briana Bill, Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA Region 5 (P-19J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, fax (312) 353-1155, or via the form on the Web site. Residents who require special accommodations at the public hearing should contact Briana Bill by Oct. 26 at (800) 621-8431, Ext. 36636 weekdays, or

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