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HEALTH CONSULTATION

BETTER BRITE III/CHIPPEWA FALLS
(a/k/a BETTER BRITE PLATING)
CHIPPEWA FALLS, CHIPPEWA COUNTY, WISCONSIN


DISCUSSION

Past sampling done by DNR and EPA identified soil contamination with chromium beneath the building and around the outside of the building. Groundwater contamination from the site has also been identified. However, no private wells are within an area of potential impact, and the city's municipal wells do not appear to be impacted. Based on sampling of surface soils in 1995, BPH found that surface soils outside the building could "pose a public health hazard to children and adults who regularly come in contact with, ingest, or inhale contaminated soil and dust at the site" (see attached memo). Hexavalent chromium contamination at some locations in surface soils were as high as 20,000 milligrams per kilogram (mg/Kg) at that time.

Samples taken recently by EPA and their contractor confirmed chromium contamination at the site. However, speciation for hexavalent chromium did not identify significant contaminant levels. Only one sample result (BB1 with 661 mg/Kg Cr+6) contained hexavalent chromium levels posing a low increased health risk. The TCLP results for two of the surface soil samples (BB1 and BB3) were relatively high, though the hexavalent chromium results were relatively low.

The building itself may pose vector control problems locally and is not structurally sound. The city is currently planning its removal.


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