Landfill cleanup set to begin
By Linda Spice
Milwaukee Jouranl Sentinel
Oak Creek - The Environmental Protection Agency plans
this summer to begin cleaning up an inactive landfill
contaminated with arsenic at an estimated cost to the
landowners of more than $5 million, an agency representative
told the Oak Creek Common Council on Tuesday night.
Coming eight years after the contamination was discovered,
Brad Bradley, remedial project manager for the Boerke
Landfill site, said the EPA has an agreement with the
landowners to clean up the contamination starting in June.
"It's a pretty simple job," Bradley later told
a reporter. "You dig the dirt and make sure you don't
cause any damage in the process."
The cleanup activity is expected to continue through
The 50-acre site, at the top of a steep bluff along Lake
Michigan, is just north of Bender Park, which holds high
development hopes for the city. An EPA study in 1995 showed
at the time that the deadly chemical presented a danger
to animals and people who ventured onto the site.
Bradley indicated that only about one acre actually contained
contamination. He said testing by the state Department
of Natural Resources revealed the contamination after
someone found a red icicle hanging from the side of a
The arsenic was traced to a dye manufacturing company
DuPont Chemicals used to run just north of the property.
Four years later, the property's current owner, EPEC Polymers
Inc., was found to be partially responsible for the contamination.
Initially, after investigations and discussions, the
EPA had considered asking the companies to simply cover
the property that was contaminated. But city officials
argued that the area needed to be completely cleaned because
it was near a prime location for development.
Oak Creek planners are targeting Bender Park for an upscale
golf course, which they hope will attract nearby developments
of high-priced condominiums and retail shops.
Under the EPA's proposed plan, the contaminated land
will be excavated, transported, treated and disposed of
at an off-site facility, which has not yet been determined.
The EPA has scheduled a community forum to discuss the
project May 27.