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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Health-based Guidelines for the Excavation of Former Manufactured Gas Plants

Guidance for Environmental Consultants and Contractors

Manufactured gas plants operated in Wisconsin from the late 1800s to the mid-twentieth century.  These facilities produced fuel gas comprised of methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and other gases produced by heating coal, steam and coke, or steam and oil. In Wisconsin, some of these former manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites retain original buildings; others have since been converted to other uses but still have subsurface MGP wastes. Coal tars, light oils, and inorganic wastes typically found in soil, sediment, and groundwater near former MGPs are an environmental and public health concern.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) has developed guidance for regulatory agencies, environmental consultants, and contractors, for the excavation of MGP sites.  This guidance is intended to complement information on MGP remediation already available to the Energy and Environmental industries.  This guidance provides a public health perspective on emerging technical and regulatory issues related to air quality and air management around MGP sites with emphasis on community outreach and risk communication.

Additional Resources

Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
Division of Public Health
1 West Wilson St, Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659
(608) 266-1120

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Last Revised:  March 20, 2014