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Evaluating Sites for Public Health

The Wisconsin Site Evaluation Program helps various groups determine the health impact of a chemical spill, such as past and current industrial waste.

We respond to all aspects of site evaluations, including health assessment and consultation, health education, risk communication, and community involvement.

We provide assistance to the public, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local health departments, including private consultants on various sites, such as National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund sites and other chemicals and hazards across the state.



Wisconsin sites

About the site

The former 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 EPA proposed the Amcast Industrial site for the NPL in April 2009. Check out the Final Health Consultation for more information.

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). Check out the Final Public Health Assessment for more information.

Health consultations available for Ashland

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. Check out the Final Health Consultation: Dinitrotoluene in Private Wells for more information.

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 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. Check out the City of Janesville Redevelopment Program.

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. Check out the Public Health Assessment (public comment version) and the Final Public Health Assessment for more information.

Fact sheets

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. For your safety, stay out of marked construction areas and where there is construction equipment. We do not expect people (or pets) to become ill from contact with the PCBs or PAHs in the soil in and around the river; however, we recommend people avoid even small amounts of exposure by washing hands before eating. Check out the Lincoln Creek Health Consultation for more information.

Fact sheets

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 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). Check out the Health Consultation for more information.

Other agency links

Department of Natural Resources BRRTS Information

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. Check out the final Public Health Assessment for more information.

Superfund sites

Wisconsin is a part of EPA's Region 5. You can search for Superfund Sites in Wisconsin and learn about cleanup activities.

For additional information on Wisconsin specific work, visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for a list of health consultations and public health assessments.

Public comments

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).

If you are writing a comment, you can email us your written comments, questions for clarification, and suggestions. 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.

Comments can also be mailed to:

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

Questions? Can't find what you're looking for? Contact us!

Last revised October 18, 2022