2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 10:55:32 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] WDNR says Zoning will promote Better Cleanup at BAAP
[Original message from "Laura Olah" <olah@speagle.com>]

May 30, 2000

For immediate release

Contact: Laura Olah, Executive Director (608)643-3124

WDNR says Zoning will promote Better Cleanup at BAAP

MERRIMAC - According to a statement issued by the Wisconsin Department
of Natural Resources (WDNR), agricultural zoning recently adopted by
local government will go a long way to getting a more stringent cleanup at
the closing Badger Army Ammunition Plant.

WDNR officials said that lands zoned for agricultural use could
ultimately be cleaner than even residential standards.  "An important
conclusion is that clean-up at lands zoned for agricultural use must
meet the most stringent standards and, in some cases, those standards
will be more stringent than that required for residential settings," the
May 22 letter said.

The WDNR's letter confirms the benefits of recent zoning decisions
pertinent to the 7,354-acre Badger plant located in the rural Sauk
County townships of Sumpter and Merrimac.  On April 10, the Town of
Sumpter supported Exclusive Agricultural zoning for all 5,689 acres
located in their township.  The decision was endorsed by petition
signatures from more than 260 Sumpter residents.  The following week,
the Sauk County board endorsed the Exclusive Agricultural designation.
Two years prior, on April 8, 1998, the Town of Merrimac, passed an
ordinance to implement the Agricultural Conservation District on lands
common to the township.

The difference in cleanup levels that will protect human health is
related to expected routes of exposure and the type of contaminants at
the site.  In a memo issued on May 22, Wisconsin Division of Health
(WDOH) representatives said that certain contaminants, such dioxins,
bioaccumulate -- a process in which the concentration of contaminants
increases in the tissues of animals.  Animals at the top of the food
chain (e.g. birds and humans) may bioaccumulate especially high
concentrations.  Consequently, a higher level of cleanup is expected for
agricultural lands with these type of contaminants, the WDOH said.

For other contaminants that don't tend to bioaccumulate in the food
chain, such as lead, residential and agricultural lands would be
expected to have similar cleanup levels to protect human health, the
WDOH said.

According to Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB), a local
environmental organization that has been monitoring the Badger cleanup
since 1990, every effort should be made to clean up soils and water to
natural background levels.  "Successful conversion to agriculture and
conservation is reliant on a complete and comprehensive cleanup," said
Laura Olah, Executive Director of the group.  "Future generations should
not be burdened with the legacy of pollution from Badger."

The contamination at Badger is the result of past production and
disposal practices including open burning of propellant-contaminated
wastes and solvents, the discharge of process water into open ditches
and ponds, landfilling wastes, and spills of solvents, acids, oils, and
production chemicals.  Environmental cleanup of the Badger Army
Ammunition Plant may cost as much $250 million.

*   *   *
Laura Olah, Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
E12629 Weigand's Bay South
Merrimac, WI  53561
phone (608)643-3124
fax (608)643-0005 alt fax (608)643-2682
Email: olah@speagle.com
Website: http://www.speagle.com/cswab

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