Wisconsin Site Evaluations of Health Hazards

Staff at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, respond to all aspects of site evaluation including: health assessment and consultation, health education and risk communication, community involvement and health study. Sites include National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund sites, brownfields, and other hazardous sites. Staff provide assistance to the public as well as to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local health departments, and private consultants.

The table below lists some of the sites in Wisconsin, as well as links to more information and reports on these sites. If you can't find what you are looking for, try the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website, where you can search for more sites.

To view more information about a site listed below, click on the arrow sign next to it.


Former Amcast Industrial Site, Cedarburg, Ozaukee County

About the Site

The Amcast Industrial site is located in the township of Cedarburg, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. The Amcast project has been inactive for several years following the bankruptcy of the responsible party. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Amcast Industrial site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2009. Also in Cedarburg is the Cedar Creek site.

Fact Sheets

Public Health Assessments and/or Health Consultations

Wisconsin DPH Final Health Consultation (PDF, 422 KB)

DPH Contact Information

Questions about the Amcast Health Consultation can be directed to Robert Thiboldeaux at robert.thiboldeaux@wi.gov

Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Site

About the Site

The Ashland/Northern States Power site is 12 acres covering several properties within the City of Ashland, and about 10 acres of sediment and surface water of Chequamegon Bay. The site is contaminated by chemicals associated with former manufactured gas plant (MGP) wastes, which typically include solid waste and a complex mixture of chemicals. The most harmful chemicals are in classes called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Public Health Assessments and/or Health Consultations

Other Agency Links

Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Sauk County

About the Site

The Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP) is a large, former industrial installation located in south-central Wisconsin, approximately 9 miles south of Baraboo and 30 miles northwest of Madison. The plant covers approximately 7,354 acres within Sumpter and Merrimac townships in Sauk County, Wisconsin. In 1942, the U.S. Department of Defense built BAAP for the production of nitrocellulose-based propellants used in rocket-propelled artillery, cannon, and small arms shells. The Department of the Army is in the process of permanently closing the idle BAAP.

Public Health Assessments and/or Health Consultations

Janesville, Wisconsin, Brownfield Redevelopment Project

About the Project

The City of Janesville and the Rock County Health Department are collaborating to protect the health of Janesville residents and improve community health related to brownfields in Janesville. Brownfields are properties that are, or have the potential to be, contaminated with hazardous substances. The City of Janesville has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to inventory and investigate these types of properties around Janesville. The Rock County Health Department has received a grant from the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to ensure that community health issues are used as a driver in the revitalization of Janesville.

For More Information

Lower Fox River and Green Bay

About the Site

The Lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago downstream to the bay of Green Bay, in Lake Michigan, contains sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs were released into the river from seven pulp and paper companies located along its banks. The pulp and paper industries stopped releasing PCBs into the river in the early 1970s. However, much of the PCB contamination remains in the river today. PCBs that have been diluted in the environment have re-concentrated in the aquatic food chain. Fish consumption advisories have been issued for fish in the Fox River and Green Bay since contamination levels were first monitored in the 1970s.

Fact Sheets

ATSDR ToxFAQs on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Wisconsin DHS Fish Advisories for the Fox River and Green Bay

Public Health Assessments and/or Health Consultations

Other Agency Links

Town of Jackson Pipeline Spill

About the Site

On July 17, 2012, the West Shore Pipeline had a large gasoline release that occurred in the Town of Jackson, Washington County.

Fact Sheets

DHS Fact Sheet on Gasoline and information on the Drinking Water Advisory P-00375 (PDF, 33 KB)

Other Agency Links

Lincoln Park and Milwaukee River PCB and PAH Contamination

About the Site

Lincoln Park is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system. Areas of Lincoln Creek and the Milwaukee River that run through the park have sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Wisconsin DNR is currently working with the US EPA to clean up PCBs in the Lincoln Park area.

Fact Sheets

 

Oconomowoc Electroplating Company Inc. (OECI)

About the Site

Oconomowoc Electroplating Company, Inc. (OECI) is a former electroplating site located in Ashippun, Wisconsin, in the southeastern portion of Dodge County, about 35 miles west of Milwaukee. OECI operated from 1957 to the early 1980s, and used various chlorinated solvents, organic compounds, and heavy metals in its electroplating and metal cleaning processes. During that time, OECI discharged untreated wastewater into nearby wetlands and Davy Creek, and stored electroplating sludge in two unlined lagoons on the property, contaminating groundwater beneath and downstream of the site.

Cleanup actions were conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) beginning in 1990 with the listing of OECI as a Superfund Site and the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD). In 1996, a groundwater extraction and treatment system was built; this system was run until 2004 when EPA authorized its shutdown. Ongoing site monitoring is being overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
 

Other Agency Links

Department of Natural Resources BRRTS Information
 

Public Health Consultations

DHS Health Consultation (PDF, 622 KB)

Portage Canal, Columbia County

About the Site

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requested assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to investigate whether environmental contamination in the historical Portage Canal in the City of Portage was a health hazard, and was adversely affecting residents and visitors to the City of Portage. DHS conducted an exposure assessment and health assessment based on sediment and fish data provided by DNR.

Public Health Assessments

Public Health Assessment (PDF, 3.0 MB)


What is the purpose of a Public Health Assessment (PHA) or Health Consultation (HC)?

Public health assessment (PHA) and Health Consultation (HC) documents are intended to identify health hazards, address community health concerns, and recommend actions to reduce unhealthy exposures at ongoing chemical contamination sites. An overview of the PHA process is available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

How do I write and submit a "public comment" to a PHA or HC?

Email, send or fax us your written comments, questions for clarification, and suggestions on any of the PHA or HC Public Comment Version reports above. Tell us which PHA or HC you are commenting on, and let us know which section or page you are referring to in your comments. Your suggestions and ideas are vital to the communication process.

Where do I send my comments to a PHA or HC?

Unless specifically noted under a site's information above, written comments on the PHA and HC reports can be sent by U.S. mail, faxed or emailed to:

Superfund Section - Comments on PHA and HC Reports
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
PO Box 2659
Madison, WI  53701-2659

fax: 608-267-4853
telephone: 608-266-1120

DHSEnvHealth@wi.gov

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Last Revised: April 21, 2016