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Investigation of Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront site to begin; open houses March 2

Release Date: 02/22/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050
Bri Bill, (312) 353-6646
(WDNR) John Robinson, (715) 365-8976

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA013


CHICAGO (Feb. 22, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 said today that seasonal field work for the ongoing investigation of contamination at the Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund site in Ashland, Wis., will begin the week of Feb. 28.

Public open houses to answer questions about the work are set for March 2: 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. at the Black Cat Coffeehouse, 211 Chapple Avenue, and 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Hotel Chequamegon, 101 Lakeshore Drive. Representatives from EPA, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services and Xcel Energy will be on hand.

The work plan, approved by EPA in December, addresses questions that remained from previous limited investigations of the areas near the former manufactured gas plant at St. Clair Street and Prentice Avenue and the former wastewater treatment plant on Marina Drive near Kreher Park. The extent of ecological habitat contamination in Chequamegon Bay will also be investigated.

NSP-Wisconsin (doing business as as Xcel Energy) and their contractors will perform the work under EPA oversight, with assistance from WDNR and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Over the course of the project, hundreds of soil, ground water and sediment samples will be collected and analyzed. Workers in protective equipment may occasionally be seen in the area and in small boats near the marina. Site work is expected to continue through the summer.

A final report on the Ashland site, called a remedial investigation/feasibility study, is due for EPA review in 2006. By 2007, EPA expects to release a proposed cleanup plan for public review and comment.

More information is at www.epa.gov/region5/sites/ashland. Questions may be directed to EPA community involvement coordinator Bri Bill, (800) 621-8431, ext. 36646, or bill.briana@epa.gov.