DNR: City Must Define PFAS Groundwater Contamination at 1300 Cleveland Ave.
Due to PFAS detected in the 1300 Cleveland Avenue’s soil and groundwater, a September 25, 2023 email from Mr. Matt Thompson of the Wisconsin DNR to the City of Wausau’s environmental consultant for the property indicates that a PFAS groundwater investigation for the site will now be necessary. Inclusion of off-site monitoring wells is likely.
According to public records recently uploaded to the DNR’s database of information on contaminated properties, the “second round of groundwater samples [at 1300 Cleveland Avenue] confirmed an exceedance of the Wisconsin Department of Health proposed combined groundwater standard at SB‐1R, SBGW‐3R, and SB‐14R” sampling points, while the initial soil sampling showed the presence of PFAS in soil, revealing the possibility of a PFAS source on the site.
The public record on the DNR’s database can be found via this link, or the full email correspondence is also embedded at the bottom of this post.
The last set of results showing PFAS groundwater contamination at the site is the latest of multiple rounds of testing at the site that has taken place over several years. Earlier rounds of soil testing revealed widespread soil contamination on the property, including high levels of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP, arsenic, and thallium.
No apparent action or update yet on application for EPA Cleanup Grant for 1300 Cleveland Avenue that was committed to publicly by Public Works Director and Mayor
Public records show that both Wausau’s Public Works Director and Wausau’s mayor confirmed with the city council and public that an application would be submitted to the EPA for a cleanup grant for 1300 Cleveland Avenue but, to date, it is unclear if the City has or will made good on those commitments. The EPA Cleanup Grant considerations strongly incorporate Environment Justice principles and public input for both the remediation approach and ultimate property end use per the grant application guidelines.
1300 Cleveland Avenue, a City-owned property and once part of the notorious Connor Forest Industries property, has been at the center of multiple zoning and procedural errors and irregularities, raising serious questions about inconsistencies of municipal policies and actions with Environmental Justice considerations.
Email from Wausau Public Works Director Regarding Submission of Application for EPA Cleanup Grant for 1300 Cleveland Avenue
Confirmation from Wausau Mayor in 2023 Public Access Video Regarding Submission of EPA Cleanup Grant Application for 1300 Cleveland Avenue