aecom wauleco dioxin question

City’s Consulting Firm Had WAULECO’s Dioxin Results in 2007

In a March 9, 2017, Capital Improvements and Street Maintenance Committee meeting, a resident asked the environmental consultant from AECOM (formerly Earth Tech) what kind of dioxin problem WAULECO had in the past. The consultant responded that it was not dioxin, but pentachlorophenol.

However, a 2007 letter sent to the consulting firm regarding Thomas Street Construction from WAULECO’s consultant RMT (now TRC) included the site’s past soil dioxin samples. The dioxin and furan soil sample results are on page 19 of the PDF.

The sample results showed that at roughly half a foot below ground surface, the levels at the WAULECO site from the mid-1980s were a “very high” 174 parts per billion (ppb).

When Wausau Pilot interviewed a well-known toxicologist, and the former environmental sciences department head at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, about that 174 ppb level, he “called those levels ‘very high,’ even by industrial standards.”

The PDF of the July 20, 2007, letter from WAULECO’s consultant to the City’s consulting firm for the Thomas Street Reconstruction can be viewed or downloaded directly here.


The minutes from the March 9, 2017, CISM meeting can be found at this link.

The minutes state on page 6:

“Kilian questioned the type of dioxin problem on the Wauleco site. Wagoner indicated it is not dioxin but rather a wood treatment chemical called pentachlorophenol and VOC’s in the groundwater.”

The video clip of that exchange — with audio volume enhancements due to poor microphone audio — can be viewed below.