Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

HEALTH CONSULTATION

ROBERT G. BETZ TRUST PROPERTY
MILWAUKEE, MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WISCONSIN


SUMMARY

Representatives of the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services evaluated available information on the Robert G. Betz property, located in the City of Milwaukee. During a recent site visit they observed many physical hazards at this property and recommended that all existing buildings, debris, and waste material be removed. Until a house on the property is demolished, the windows and external doorways should be boarded. Transite pipe stacked on the property contains asbestos, but the pipes are intact and do not currently pose a health hazard. Previous environmental sampling in one location found some gasoline-related contamination, but this does not pose a health hazard. Further environmental sampling is needed in certain areas that may be contaminated.


BACKGROUND

The Robert G. Betz Property is located at 7132 West Bradley Road, in the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The Betz property operated as a salvage yard from approximately 1960 to 1994 and has been unused since then. This tax-delinquent property is 4.5 acres in size and is bordered to the north by a railroad corridor, a single-family dwelling to the east, and commercially used property to the north. During 1998, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to conduct a Phase I and Phase II site investigation of the property under their Brownfield Environmental Evaluation Program. DNR was formally requested by the City of Milwaukee to conduct this investigation in order to assist with the redevelopment of the property.


DISCUSSION

On April 20, 1998, staff of DHFS and MHD toured this property with DNR staff. They observed a considerable amount of debris and solid waste material throughout the property, particularly along the access road and around the dilapidated garage, burnt-out office, and storage trailers. The public health staff inspected an abandoned house along the northern boundary of the property. Much of the property was apparently used for illegal dumping of household waste. They also examined asbestos-based transite pipe. Water was seen standing in the northeast corner. This northeast corner appeared to receive surface water runoff from a large portion of the property.

There were many physical hazards found throughout the property, with a number in the vicinity of the former garage and burnt-out office. These hazards are posed by debris from collapsed structures and waste materials. While the abandoned house appeared to be structurally sound, inside are many potential physical hazards. All external doorways and windows of the house should be sealed to prevent trespassers from gaining access. A building inspector with the City of Milwaukee subsequently examined the house and found it in such poor condition that he contacted the Condemnation Section for placarding and possible demolition of the house.

Surface soils may be contaminated, with stained soils observed in some places, possibly from the dumping of used automotive oil. Groundwater appeared to be seeping to the surface near the former garage. Public health staff observed evidence of stressed vegetation along the railroad right-of-way, near the northwest corner of the property. They also observed several drums that may contain hazardous waste. These contents should be tested.

The northeast corner receives surface water runoff from a large portion of the property. Soils or sediments in the northeast corner should be tested for contamination. There might also be runoff from the property onto an adjacent residence located at the southeast corner of the property. A 1994 investigation indicated underground fuel storage tanks were previously removed from near the garage. Soil samples collected from the vicinity of the garage contained elevated concentrations of gasoline constituents. None of these substances were at concentrations that are a health concern. These samples were also tested for lead, which was found at very low, safe concentrations.1

The asbestos-based, transite pipe appeared to be intact, without any evidence of disintegration into friable particles. A sample was collected and later tested by the Milwaukee Health Department. Laboratory analysis found the pipe contained 20% chrysotile asbestos. In its current state, this transite pipe does not pose a health hazard, but it should be removed and properly disposed. Some wallboard from the garage contained fibrous material that resembled asbestos. Laboratory analysis of a wallboard sample found this material did not contain asbestos.


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Many physical hazards on this property pose a health hazard to trespassers. All existing buildings, debris, and waste material should be removed, which will result in the elimination of physical hazards. Until the house on the property is demolished, windows and external doorways should be boarded shut to prevent injuries to trespassers.

  2. Transite pipe stacked on the property contains asbestos, but the pipes are intact and do not currently pose a health hazard. This pipe should be taken from the site and properly disposed.

  3. Previous environmental sampling near the garage found some gasoline related contamination, but this does not pose a health hazard.

  4. There are stained soils at a number of locations on the property, evidence of possible contamination. Vegetation appeared to be stressed in another location. Further environmental sampling is needed in these areas.

  5. The northeast corner of the site receives surface water runoff from a large portion of the property. Soils or sediments in the northeast corner should be tested for contamination.

  6. DHFS and MHD will evaluate additional environmental sampling data once they become available.

1   Moraine Environmental Inc. A report of a Limited Subsurface Investigation at the Betz Trust Property, 7132 West Bradley Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Mequon, Wisconsin: Moriane Environmental.  August 24, 1994.


CONSULTATION PREPARERS

James Igowski
Environmental Hygienist
Environmental Health Technology Division
Milwaukee Health Department

Henry Nehls-Lowe, MPH
Epidemiologist
Health Hazard Evaluation Unit
Bureau of Public Health
Division of Health
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services


CERTIFICATION

This Robert G. Betz Trust Property public health consultation was prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with the findings.

Sue E. Ribald for
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #