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EPA proposes cleanup plan for Cedarburg, Wis., Superfund site; comment period begins, meeting Oct. 10

Release Date: 10/03/2007
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov Susan Pastor, 312-353-1325, pastor.susan@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA171

CHICAGO (Oct. 3, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has proposed a $2.3 million cleanup plan for the Cedar Creek Mercury Marine Plant 2 Superfund site in Cedarburg, Wis. A comment period runs from Oct. 8 to Nov. 9. A public meeting where comments may be submitted orally or in writing will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Cedarburg City Hall Council Chambers, W63 N645 Washington Ave.

EPA, in consultation with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, evaluated four cleanup options and recommends Option #4, which involves excavation of shallow and subsurface soil at the Plant 2 site plus ground-water monitoring.

PCBs from two local companies -- now-closed Amcast and Mercury Marine -- contaminated Cedar Creek (from below the Ruck Pond Dam to its intersection with the Milwaukee River), the Plant 2 property, the former Amcast property and some nearby private properties. EPA Superfund involvement at the site began in 2003. Mercury Marine and Wisconsin DNR began studying the site in 1983.

PCBs were once widely used by industry as coolants, insulators and lubricants. The manufacture of PCBs in the United States was stopped in 1977, but the compound stays a long time in the environment. They are linked to cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems in people and animals. PCB-contaminated river sediment affects fish, wildlife and people as it rises through the food chain. In the 1970s, Wisconsin advised residents not to eat fish from various rivers throughout the state because of the contamination. The advisories are still in effect.

Copies of the study that evaluated cleanup options, the proposed plan and other site documents are on the Web at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/cedarcreek and on file at Cedarburg City Hall and Cedarburg Public Library, W63 N583 Hanover Ave. Residents with questions may contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Susan Pastor, 800-621-8431, Ext. 31325, or pastor.susan@epa.gov.

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