CSWAB Wants Better Cleanup at Badger before Transfer


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“In written comments submitted this week, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) is challenging the U.S. Army and the Wisconsin DNR to require additional environmental cleanup at the closing Badger Army Ammunition Plant before portions of the property are transferred to the State….”

Author: Laura Olah with Merrimac, Wisconsin’s Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
Published at: CSWAB’s website (based in Merrimac, Wisconsin)
Date: February 11, 2008

For the full article, which is of special interest to Wisconsin readers:
CSWAB Wants Better Cleanup at Badger before Transfer
(330 words)
by Laura Olah

In written comments submitted this week, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) is challenging the U.S. Army and the Wisconsin DNR to require additional environmental cleanup at the closing Badger Army Ammunition Plant before portions of the property are transferred to the State.

For the majority of contaminated sites at Badger, the WDNR and the Army are not looking at potential risks to wildlife or risks to humans through the food chain which often require a better level of cleanup. Our goal is to assure that agricultural research, wildlife and grassland bird habitat, managed grazing, and other planned future uses are successful.

We found that additional steps are needed to eliminate certain contaminant sources, such as wood preservatives, paints, pesticides, and road oil, as potential ecological and environmental health concerns. Certain contaminants such as DDT, PCBs, and mercury are persistent bioaccumulative toxins that may have long term implications for the local ecology and human health.

In anticipation of transfer of portions of the closing base to new owners, the Army has invited public comment on documents that describe the environmental condition of the property. Known as a Finding of Suitability for Transfer, the document discusses lead, asbestos, explosives, and other environmental toxins that are present at the plant.

The Army report says that there is no further environmental cleanup necessary on about 1,188 of the roughly 1,800 acres that the WDNR is expected to soon own. The area extends from the northeast corner of the plant from Devil’s Lake State Park south to the Dairy Forage Research Center farm.

Our understanding of the potential harm caused by exposure to environmental toxins is much different than years ago — now we know better. By accomplishing the best possible cleanup now, we assure that future generations enjoy a safe, healthy, and productive future.

A complete copy of CSWAB’s 21-page comments is available on our website at www.cswab.org. Community members will have until Feb. 15 to offer their comments on Army documents.

Laura Olah, Executive Director, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, E12629 Weigand’s Bay South, Merrimac, Wisconsin