Safe Water Around Badger
Weigand’s Bay South - Merrimac, WI
643-3124 - Fax (608) 643-0005
firstname.lastname@example.org - Website: www.cswab.org
September 26, 2007
For Immediate Release
Will Fight Wisconsin Water
The Pentagon intends to challenge
Wisconsin in regulating all forms of the
explosive dinitrotoluene (DNT), Army officials announced on Monday. Wisconsin is
the first state in the nation to establish health-based guidelines for the
pervasive military toxin that has contaminated groundwater and dozens of
private wells near the Badger Army Ammunition Plant.
At a public meeting this week,
local Army officials said that they have asked the Undersecretary of the Army
for Environment, Safety, and Occupation Health to help contest health-based
guidelines issued by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the
anticipated adoption of drinking water and groundwater regulations by the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for certain isomers of DNT.
The Army is challenging an
interim Health Advisory Level published by the Wisconsin Division of Public
Health earlier this summer. The advisory, which was drafted by the
agency’s senior toxicologist, recommends that the summed concentrations
of all DNT isomers should not exceed 0.05 parts per billion (ppb) in drinking
water. The recommended threshold also serves as an interim groundwater
standard for Wisconsin.
DNT is a highly toxic chemical
mixture that is used in the manufacture of munitions. It is most commonly
found as a mixture of six (6) isomers of DNT. Wisconsin has
drinking water standard for the two isomers of DNT (2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT).
The acceptable threshold for both is 0.05 ppb.
Standards for the remaining four
isomers of DNT have not been established by Wisconsin or
any other state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also not
established a drinking water standard.
to regulate the less common forms of DNT which have tainted dozens of drinking
water wells near the Badger plant, affecting rural families in the townships of
Merrimac, Sumpter, and Prairie du Sac. Without a standard, the State is
extremely limited in its ability to require the Defense Department to clean up
groundwater and nearby residential wells.
The Pentagon recognizes that Wisconsin is
setting a national precedent that could not only result in additional cleanup
requirements at the Badger plant but could also prompt re-examination of
cleanups at hundreds of other similarly contaminated military sites.
grade DNT is a mixture composed of approximately 76% 2,4-DNT, 19% 2,6-DNT, and
5% other DNT isomers (3,4-DNT, 2,3-DNT, 2,5-DNT, and 3,5 DNT). In
groundwater and drinking water, however, these isomers can be found independently
and in different ratios.
· At the
Deterrent Burning Grounds, a hazardous waste site at Badger Army Ammunition
Plant, the concentration of 3,4-DNT in groundwater is currently 3.98 ppb and
2,3-DNT concentrations are 1.16 ppb. The total concentrations of these
less common isomers are more than 100 times the safe drinking water guidelines
recommended the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. By comparison,
2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT are both found at levels less than 0.05 ppb in the same
groundwater monitoring well.
· In Wisconsin, the
2,3-DNT isomer has been detected in 103 groundwater and private water wells at
concentrations as high as 2,200 ppb. The 3,4-DNT isomer has been detected
in 37 wells at levels as high as 419 ppb. The 3,5-DNT isomer has been
detected in 20 wells at concentrations as high as 23.9 ppb and the 2,5-DNT
isomer has been detected in wells at concentrations as high as 1.5 ppb.
northern Wisconsin, the E.I. DuPont de Nemours
& Co. ran the DuPont Barksdale Explosives
Plant from 1905 to 1971. The company produced TNT, dynamite and other
explosives for the military during World Wars I and II, and for the mining
industry. Starting in 1997, tests found residues of explosive chemicals
in 17 drinking water wells located between the site and Lake
Superior. Two forms of dinitrotoluene (DNT) found in
private well water were above the State of Wisconsin
letter requesting WDOPH provide Health Advisory Levels for DNT Isomers:
2,3-DNT; 2,5-DNT; 3,4-DNT & 3,5-DNT, May
letter from Dr. Henry Anderson, WDOPH, to Division of Water Administrator Todd
Ambs, WDNR., July 3, 2007.
Water Health Advisory for Dinitrotoluenes by Lynda Knobeloch, Ph.D., Senior
Toxicologist at WDOPH, June 14, 2007.