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Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP) is located in Sauk County, Wisconsin, near the city ofBaraboo. Over a 33 year period, until 1975, the plant operated intermittently to produce propellantsfor cannon, rocket, and small arms ammunition. Past industrial activities at this site have resulted insurface soil and groundwater contamination by organic and inorganic chemicals. A groundwatercontamination plume originating from the Propellant Burning Ground extends beyond the plant'ssouthern boundary. In April 1990, chloroform and/or carbon tetrachloride were found atconcentrations above the Wisconsin Enforcement Standards in private wells south of BAAP. InSeptember 1990, the Wisconsin Division of Health completed a public health assessment for theBAAP. The report documented the evaluation of investigations of environmental conditions andenvironmentally-related activities taking place at Badger. The Division concluded that people exposed to groundwater contaminants had a slight increased risk of developing cancer.

The Wisconsin Division of Health completed a follow-up public health assessment for BAAP andconcludes that current groundwater contaminant levels in private drinking water supplies are notlikely to cause adverse human health effects. Finally, the Wisconsin Division of Healthrecommends regular monitoring of the contaminant plume south of the plant boundary to detectwhether it changes directions or spreads. Specifically, wells within the identified plume should continue to be monitored quarterly.


The purpose of this public health assessment is to evaluate the public health issues of environmentalcontamination at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP). More specifically, the WisconsinDivision of Health (WDOH) re-evaluated whether health effects are possible and recommendsactions to reduce or prevent possible health effects. The primary public health concern at this site ispossible human exposure because of the spread of the groundwater plume to nearby private wells and the Prairie du Sac municipal wells.


Site Description/Land Use
BAAP is a large industrial installation located in south-central Wisconsin, approximately 9 miles south of Baraboo and 30 miles northwest of Madison. The plant covers approximately 7,354 acres within Sumpter and Merrimac townships in Sauk County, Wisconsin. The installation is bounded by Devil's Lake State Park on the north, U.S. Route 12 on the west, and farmland on the south and east. The southeastern border of the plant is defined by Lake Wisconsin and State Highway 78. Two small, unincorporated residential communities are east and west of the plant boundaries. Controlled access to the fenced installation is maintained 24-hours daily by a non-military security force. Maps of the installation are shown in Figures 1 and 2.

BAAP sits within the Wisconsin River drainage basin. Approximately mile south of BAAP isLake Wisconsin, which was formed by damming the Wisconsin River at Prairie du Sac. Highlypermeable sand and gravel characterizes the subsurface soil throughout most of the facility.Groundwater exists at depths between 19 and 136 feet and flows south to southeasterly in thenorthern sections of the plant at velocities ranging from 40 to 300 feet/year.1

The land surrounding BAAP is primarily agricultural, and thus fertilizer compounds, primarilynitrates, often contaminate area groundwater. South of BAAP, on County Road Z, are some dairyfarms and an agricultural cooperative that distributes farm chemicals.

Recreational and residential areas are also near BAAP. Lake Wisconsin and Devil's Lake StatePark are used for many sports such as hiking, fishing, boating, camping, and swimming. Vacationhomes and residences are built along Lake Wisconsin in Gruber's Grove Bay, Inspiration Point,Summer Oak, Weigland's Bay, and within the village of Merrimac.

Many homes and farms between the southern plant boundary and the village of Prairie du Sac drawwater from private potable and irrigation wells. Three miles south of the BAAP boundary are thePrairie du Sac municipal wells. Southeast of BAAP, within mile of the plant boundary inGruber's Grove are several homes, which also obtain water from private wells.

History of Activities
In 1942, BAAP was built and operated by the U.S. Government to produce various formulations of nitrocellulose-based propellants, including single-base artillery propellant, and double-base solventless rocket propellant. In 1951, manufacturing capabilities were expanded to include the production of double-base BALL POWDER®. Nitroglycerine, and nitric and sulfuric acid were also produced as intermediate materials used in manufacturing those propellants.

The BAAP installation has had three active periods since its construction: World War II (1943-1945), the Korean Conflict (1951-1958), and the Vietnam Conflict (1966-1975). The Departmentof Defense deactivated BAAP after the last period of production and was placed on standby status. The United States Industrial Operating Command has submitted a recommendation to theDepartment of the Army to close the idle BAAP because no current or future production is needed atthe plant.

Both production and waste-disposal practices at BAAP account for contamination at this site.Processing of propellant or deterrent took place in most of the approximately 1,400 buildings atBAAP. However, other areas of production include the Old Acid Area, the Oleum Plant, and thepower plants. Until 1975, the Old Acid Area was used for producing nitric acid from ammonia. Unreacted nitric oxides were released from rooftop vents during this process. These irritating gaseshad a red color, and during temperature inversions, the air around the Old Acid Areas wasenveloped in a brown haze.8, 12 Elemental sulfur was converted to sulfuric acid and derivatives at theOleum Plant. Power Plant No.1 burned coal until 1971 and released thick black smoke to thesurrounding environment. Power Plant No.2 was never used at BAAP.

The landfills, burning grounds, and waste water discharge areas were all used for waste disposal. Between 1942 and 1983, the Propellant Burning Ground was used to burn waste propellants andwaste process chemicals.1 The Deterrent Burning Ground is an unlined depression in the groundwhere deterrents and benzene (from recovered nitrocellulose) were burned. The "Existing Landfill,"which was closed in 1989, was filled with waste from administrative offices, security guard quarters,and fire houses.2 Landfill No. 1 is also a closed landfill that was used between 1944 and 1955 for solid waste and ash disposal.2

History of Investigations
Environmental investigations documented the presence of contamination in soils and groundwater at BAAP. Since 1977, numerous investigations of environmental conditions at BAAP have been undertaken by different agencies and firms. Initial investigations identified eleven priority sites requiring further investigation. The Master Environmental Plan (MEP), prepared for BAAP by Argonne National Laboratory, includes a summary of environmental data from those efforts.9 Contamination of soils and groundwater were documented in the MEP. In 1987, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) issued an In-Field Conditions Report (IFCR) for BAAP.12 The IFCR outlines requirements for remediation of the site and is modified by WDNR as necessary to address new findings and decisions related to contamination at BAAP.

The Final Remedial Investigation Report for BAAP was completed in April 1993.1 The reportconfirmed the only pathways of concern are related to surface soils at the Propellant and DeterrentBurning Grounds and to groundwater. The contaminants of concern were identified as carbontetrachloride, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chloroform, 2,4- and 2,6-dinitrotoluene,nitrates, and lead. The predominant contaminants in the surface soil at the Propellant BurningGround are 2,4- and 2,6-dinitrotoluene and lead. A soil vapor extraction system is in place at thePropellant Burning Ground for removing volatile compounds present in the subsurface soil. Dinitrotoluenes and benzene are the primary contaminants of concern found in subsurface soil at the Deterrent Burning Ground.

Since 1988, quarterly groundwater monitoring has taken place at BAAP. The Olin Corporation,under contract to the U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency, has conducted samplingon as many as 260 monitoring wells, including private and residential wells (Table 1). Two plumesof contamination that have migrated beyond plant boundaries have been identified. A plume ofvolatile organic compounds (VOCs) originating from the Propellant Burning Ground area hasmoved past the southern boundary of the plant. A sulfate plume, originating from the DeterrentBurning Ground and Existing Landfill area, has moved past the eastern plant boundary.

A comprehensive groundwater treatment program began at BAAP in 1990. The Interim RemedialMeasure (IRM) facility extracts and treats contaminated groundwater from beneath the PropellantBurning Ground. Initially, IRM consisted of one source control well (150 ft) within the PropellantBurning Ground and three boundary control wells south of the source area. Each well pumps 50 to100 gallons per minute. Groundwater pumped by IRM is treated by activated carbon adsorption andair stripping and then discharged via a buried force water main to the Wisconsin River. Recently,two boundary control wells were disconnected from IRM, and a second source- control well wasadded to capture the plume at its source.

In 1990, monitoring results indicated that the VOC contaminant plume reached nearby privatewells. Contaminants identified above the Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards werecarbon tetrachloride and chloroform. As a result, between 1990 and 1992, 240 public and privatewells were tested for nitrates, metals, and volatile organic compounds. Three private wells south ofthe plant boundary were affected by the contamination. These wells have since been replaced by theArmy: two in 1990, and the third in 1996.

In 1994, sampling results showed increased concentrations of contaminants south of the boundary control wells, which suggested that the contaminant plume was not completely captured by the IRM facility. The plume apparently migrated under the screened intervals of wells at IRM and moved south. In November 1996, a modified interim remedial measure (MIRM) facility was installed to augment IRM and to capture the VOC plume at the southern boundary of BAAP. The MIRM is composed of six additional high-capacity wells placed at 700-foot intervals on an east-west line at the southern facility boundary. The MIRM was designed to capture all layers of the aquifer, pumping 500 gallons per minute per well, with a total flow of 3,000 gallons per minute. Water extracted by the MIRM is also purified by air stripping, combined with carbon filtration, and discharged to an on-site reservoir or to the Wisconsin River.

Additionally, at the Propellant Burning Ground, a soil vapor extraction system (SVE) was installed in February 1998 for cumulative mass removals and capture of VOCs. Preliminary estimates provided by the Army indicate that high masses of VOCs are being removed from subsurface soils and are decreasing contaminant concentrations at the source.5

Off-site investigations have not identified any other areas of groundwater or soil contaminationrelated to activities at BAAP. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed an investigation of "Formerly Used Defense Sites" (FUDS) north and east of BAAP in 1994.10 FUDS are propertiespreviously used by the Army and sold to local landowners. The investigation did not reveal any consistent patterns of groundwater or soil contamination attributable to BAAP activities.

Site Visit
WDOH representatives visited BAAP on several occasions between October 1997 and June 1998, accompanied by representatives from the Army, Olin Corporation, and WDNR. A WDOH representative also attends monthly interagency status meetings on remedial activities at the installation.

Overall, the entire facility, including some past disposal areas, appears well vegetated. Grazingcattle and cropland are distributed throughout much of the facility. Areas of soil contamination arefenced to prevent grazing in those areas. Many deer also inhabit BAAP grounds.

BAAP is divided by the townships of Sumpter and Merrimac, within Sauk County. The 1997 estimated population of Sumpter was 828 people, and Merrimac had 855 people. Devil's Lake State Park extends along the north edge of the plant. Within the township of Merrimac is the village of Merrimac, which had a 1997 estimated population of 403 people. Approximately four miles south of BAAP are the villages of Prairie du Sac, with a 1997 estimated population of 3,024 people, and Sauk City with a 1997 estimated population of 3,071 people (Figure 1).

The 1990 Census of zip codes around BAAP (Merrimac - 53561, Prairie du Sac - 53578, Sauk City- 53583, and North Freedom - 53951) reported the following ranges: a) median ages of 33.4 to 36.2years; b) average annual household incomes of $27,032 to $30,730; c) average household sizes of 2.59 to 2.68 individuals; and d) 98% white racial composition.

Health Outcome Data
In response to residents'concern about cancer, WDOH conducted a cancer rate review of the area near BAAP in 1990.14 The study concluded that for the Townships of Sumpter and Prairie du Sac, where private well contamination occurred, residents did not experience statistically higher than expected cancer deaths from 1980 to 1988. This study also looked at 1960-1988 cancer mortality rates for residents living near BAAP, a larger area including, but not limited to, the two townships. This review included eleven different cancer types and found that residents living near BAAP had cancer mortality rates similar to rates of other Wisconsin residents. In a decade-specific analysis for this BAAP area, the 1990 study also indicated that female non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and male kidney/ureter cancer deaths during 1980-1988 were statistically higher than expected. These cases were not concentrated in the area where private well contamination was identified, however, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has not been associated with the contaminants found in groundwater. Liver and kidney cancer are most likely associated with exposure to chloroform and carbon tetrachloride.

In 1997, WDOH conducted a follow-up cancer review for the area near BAAP.15 The follow-upreview covered 1989-1994 cancer mortality and 1980-1994 cancer incidence (newly diagnosedcancers). The follow-up review showed that, for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, liver, kidney, lung, andbreast cancer, residents of the Townships of Sumpter and Prairie du Sac did not experience astatistically higher than expected number of deaths during 1989-1994 or of newly diagnosed cancersduring 1980-1994.

During the follow-up review, WDOH also re-examined the 1990 analysis results. The re-analysis ofthe 1990 findings did not affect the results for liver and kidney cancer in the area wherecontamination was identified. For the larger BAAP area, however, the decade-specific results forfemale non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and male kidney/ureter deaths during 1980-1988 were affected. The original analysis did not include an age-adjustment factor, and those results had indicated asignificantly higher rate of deaths for those cancers. The re-analysis, adjusted for age, showed that the number of female non-Hoidgkin's lymphoma and male kidney/ureter deaths during 1980-1988 among BAAP area residents was not statistically higher than expected.


Environmental Contamination
Remedial investigations identified eleven priority sites at BAAP where soil and groundwater contamination were found. Those sites are: Propellant Burning Ground including Landfill No. 1, Deterrent Burning Ground, Settling Ponds and Spoils Disposal Area, Existing Landfill, Rocket Paste Area, Nitroglycerine Pond, Acid Areas, Oleum Plant and Oleum Plant Pond, Ballistics Pond, and the Old Fuel Oil Tank. In 1990, the southern off-post area was added as the twelfth site because off-site groundwater contamination was confirmed. The Final Remedial Investigation Report summarizes the numerous soil and groundwater investigations that characterize the extent of contamination at BAAP.1 Six of the identified priority sites were recommended for no further action and six were identified for further study. In 1994, two additional sites not addressed in the Remedial Investigation Report were determined to require remediation, namely the Transformer Yard and Powerhouse soil.2 In 1998, the Oleum landfill was identified and determined to require additional study. This landfill contains construction and demolition debris.

Many new data have been obtained since the 1990 WDOH public health assessment. However,data presented in the Final Remedial Investigation Report1 confirms the only pathways of concernare related to: 1) surface soils at the Propellant and Deterrent Burning Grounds and 2)groundwater.1 The principal chemicals identified at the Deterrent and Propellant Burning Groundsare shown in Tables 2 and 3. The contaminants of concern in both soil and groundwater have notchanged: carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chloroform, 2,4-and 2,6-dinitrotoluene, nitrates, and lead (Tables 2 and 3). High levels of nitrates are found at both thePropellant and Deterrent Burning Grounds and throughout the facility. However, significantagricultural uses of fertilizers exist both at BAAP and on agricultural land surrounding BAAP,which may account for nitrates in groundwater.

Deterrent Burning Ground and Existing Landfill
The Deterrent Burning Ground was used as a burn and disposal area for manufacturing wastes. Wastes were discharged into this burrow pit, and open burning of deterrents, structural timbers, asphalt shingles, cardboard, papers and office waste occurred.2 Deterrent contains dibutyl phthalate and dinitrotoluene, which were used to modify the burning characteristics of nitrocellulose. The Existing Landfill opened at the time of BAAP's construction and received waste from administrative offices, security guard quarters, fire houses, and limited operations in the laboratories.2 Groundwater flow from the landfill cannot be differentiated from groundwater flow from the nearby Deterrent Burning Ground, and both sites are treated as a single unit for groundwater remediation purposes.

The Deterrent Burning Ground/Existing Landfill is the source of a sulfate plume that has beendetected in groundwater beyond the eastern boundary of BAAP. Flyash is the likely source ofsulfate (as SO4).1 Sulfate may also originate as a combustion product from burning waste. Concentrations of sulfate at the eastern boundary are as high as 640 parts per million (ppm), butconcentrations in private wells outside the boundary are below the Wisconsin GroundwaterPreventive Action Level of 150 ppm.2 The predominant contaminant in the soil at the DeterrentBurning Ground is dinitrotoluene (maximum concentration detected 37,000 mg/kg).1 Dinitrotoluene contamination at the Deterrent Burning Ground has spread horizontally on a clay/siltsoil layer (approximately 40 feet below the ground layer), but has only been detected sporadically ingroundwater. Benzene has also been detected at high concentrations in the subsurface soils at theDeterrent Burning Ground. Benzene was used in dinitrotoluene extraction processes and as a fuelcomponent to initiate combustion of deterrents at the Burning Ground.1 The deeper aquifer beneaththe Deterrent Burning Ground does not appear to be contaminated with chemicals originating fromBAAP-related activities.

Propellant Burning Ground
This area was used during all three production periods for burning and disposing of unusable propellants (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin) and deterrents (dinitrotoluenes). Waste solvents such as carbon tetrachloride were also added to this mixture. Dinitrotoluenes, nitrates, sulfates, lead, n-nitrosodiphenylamine, and benzene have all been detected in soil and groundwater directly beneath the Propellant Burning Ground but not in surrounding monitoring wells (Table 3).

Contamination in this area is in distinct vertical columns directly under waste pits. However,relatively high concentrations of carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, trichloroethylene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane occur in groundwater throughout the Burning Ground.1 Those chemicals appear tobe sinking or migrating in a complex pattern as they are found in shallow wells under the BurningGround and in deeper wells farther south.

Carbon tetrachloride is the primary contaminant in the VOC-groundwater plume, extending fromthe Propellant Burning Ground. Carbon tetrachloride levels in groundwater beneath the PropellantBurning Ground are far above Enforcement Standards (Table 4), and concentrations as great as 210parts per billion (ppb) have been detected in on-site monitoring wells at the southern boundary of thefacility.2 Sampling results indicate that carbon tetrachloride is present in the deeper portion of thesand and gravel aquifer south of the Propellant Burning Ground. However, contamination has notbeen detected in wells that draw water from the deeper bedrock aquifer.

Off-Site Groundwater Contamination
Groundwater samples are collected quarterly from eight off-site monitoring wells and 15 private/residential wells. These wells are within the known pathway of the VOC-contaminant plume. Results of groundwater monitoring in off-site monitoring wells indicate a decrease in carbon tetrachloride over a five year period (Table 5). Maximum concentrations detected during the Remedial Investigation were 10.8 µg/L and during 1996 sampling rounds were 2.2 µg/L. The maximum concentrations of chloroform (3.5 µg/L) and trichloroethylene (2.6 µg/L) detected during the 1996 quarterly sampling rounds were higher than concentrations detected during the Remedial Investigation but still remain below the Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards (Table 5).

During the remedial investigation, 13 irrigation and residential wells south of BAAP were sampled for contamination. Carbon tetrachloride was detected above the Wisconsin Enforcement Standards in one irrigation well and in three residential wells. Carbon tetrachloride concentrations detected were as high as 130 µg/L in the irrigation well and 80 µg/L in a domestic well. Chloroform and trichloroethylene were also detected in private wells during the remedial investigation. Chloroform was detected in samples from 11 of the 13 wells sampled. The Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standard for chloroform (6 µg/L) was exceeded in three residential wells and in one irrigation well. Trichloroethylene was detected in one of the private wells at a concentration less than 0.5 µg/L.

The three private wells with carbon tetrachloride and chloroform contamination above Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards have been replaced. However, quarterly groundwater monitoring results obtained since 1990 show the presence of low concentrations of chloroform and carbon tetrachloride in four additional private wells (Table 6). The highest concentration detected of carbon tetrachloride has been 0.30 µg/L and of chloroform has been 1.7 µg/L. The absence of higher concentrations may be due to the location of these wells. Three of the affected wells (#801, #875, and #998) are directly south of the southern plant boundary. The wells appear to be on the edge of the contaminant plume and thus, detection of chemicals has been affected by movement of the plume (i.e., rising and falling of the watertable).7 Well #826, however, is north and east of the identified path of the contaminant plume. The presence of chloroform in well #826 may be the result of well disinfection processes. Chlorination of plumbing often results in formation of chloroform in water supplies.

Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) has been detected in monitoring wells and residential wells farabove Enforcement Standards. DEHP is a common plasticizer used in PVC well materials and inmany other industrial and household plastics. However, DEHP was not used at BAAP duringproduction operations. Sporadic detections of DEHP in samples have been attributed to exposure ofsamples to plastics during either sampling or laboratory sample preparation and analysis.

Elevated nitrate concentrations have also been detected in off-site monitoring wells. However,nitrates appear to be related to region-wide influences such as agricultural practices and not to site-related nitrate sources.1 No consistent pattern of elevated nitrate has been identified in groundwater at BAAP.

Public Health Implications
Currently, some residents near BAAP have private well water that is contaminated. Quarterly monitoring results have shown the presence of chloroform and carbon tetrachloride at very low concentrations in four of the 15 private/residential wells sampled near BAAP. The highest levels of carbon tetrachloride were detected at 0.30 µg/L and of chloroform at 1.7 µg/L. Both levels are below their respective Wisconsin Groundwater Quality Enforcement Standards and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) comparison values; therefore, we do not expect adverse health effects to occur in people who drink this water. Additionally, the current exposure situation does not pose a significant increased risk of adverse health effects to children who drink this water.

The levels of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform in private wells near BAAP before 1990 are unknown because no water samples were previously collected and analyzed for VOCs. Therefore, a conservative estimate of exposure would assume a lifetime, or 70 years of exposure. WDOH also assumes that the concentrations of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform were at the highest detected levels for that 70 year period. Those assumptions would result in an exposure dose of approximately 0.0086 µg/kg/day of carbon tetrachloride for a 70 kg adult drinking two liters of water each day. Using the same assumptions, chloroform exposure would be approximately 0.041 µg/kg/day for a 70 kg adult drinking two liters of water each day. No adverse health effects are expected to occur at those estimated exposure doses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U. S. EPA) classifies carbon tetrachloride andchloroform as probable human carcinogens. The major site of tumor formation in laboratoryanimals exposed to carbon tetrachloride and chloroform is the liver. From results of animal studies,oral slope factors have been developed to evaluate the possible cancer risk that humans exposed tothose contaminants may experience. Assuming that carbon tetrachloride and chloroform are humancarcinogens and using the above assumptions, exposure to carbon tetrachloride and chloroform poses "no apparent increased risk" of cancer.

Community Health Concerns
WDOH is not aware of any new community health concerns associated with BAAP.

Past community health concerns included:

  1. Citizens expressed concern about increased cancer rates as a result of BAAP-relatedactivities and exposure to groundwater contamination.
  2. The Wisconsin Division of Health investigated the possibility of increased cancer for residents living near BAAP in 1990, with the follow-up study in 1997. Residents living near BAAP have cancer mortality and incidence rates similar to otherWisconsin residents.

  3. Citizens who lived near the site during production expressed concern about a red/brown cloud that overshadowed the plant during production periods.
  4. As described previously, based upon historical data about plant operations and personal communication with plant workers, the red/brown cloud was the result of nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere. Other than short-term lung irritation,no significant adverse health effects can be attributed to nitrogen oxide exposure.

  5. Concern has been expressed about soil that may be contaminated at some residences in areas known as "Formerly Used Defense Sites."
  6. Groundwater and soil analyses at these locations have not revealed the presence of contamination at levels of health concern.

Previous Conclusions, Recommendations and Follow-Up
The scope of this follow-up public health assessment is based on knowledge of past manufacturing practices at BAAP, previous environmental studies that detected chemical contamination in BAAP soil and groundwater, site visits by WDOH personnel, and the 1990 Health Assessment of this site. The plans and ongoing cleanup activities at the site are expected to protect public health and to remove the potential for future exposure to contaminated soil and groundwater. Conclusions and recommendations outlined in the 1990 Health Assessment remain valid and have been, or are being, followed.

The previous conclusions were:

  1. "Current groundwater contaminant levels indicate that a small number of families living within the boundaries of the current plume may have slightly increased cancer risks. Liver, kidney, and lung are likely sites of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform-induced tumor formation in humans. Past exposures to carcinogens resulting from burning of coal at the power plant cannot be assessed."

  2. "The groundwater plume cannot be adequately characterized such that past exposure estimates can be made. With the lack of historical exposure data, it is impossible to assess the likelihood of cancer development arising form earlier exposures."

The recommendations and follow-up activities were:

  1. "Those with wells contaminated above Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards should seek other drinking water supplies and take steps to reduce exposure to evaporated contaminants from well water." The residents in homes with wells containing carbon tetrachloride and/or chloroform at concentrations above the Wisconsin Enforcement Standards were offered alternate water supplies by BAAP. The three private potable water wells have since been replaced by the Army: two in 1990, and one in 1996. The new wells were extended into the lower, uncontaminated aquifer.

  2. "The contaminant concentrations and geographical distribution of the groundwater plume should be further defined. Currently contaminated wells should be monitored to define changes in concentrations over time. Wells in the path of the contamination and those east of the plant should also be monitored. Efforts to determine the source of contamination east of the plant should continue." An extensive groundwater monitoring program is ongoing at BAAP, including quarterly monitoring of 14 residential wells and the Prairie du Sac municipal well, which is a total of 15 wells serving residents near BAAP. The movement of the plume of volatile organic compounds flowing south from thePropellant Burning Ground Waste Pits has been confirmed. The plume is moving south tosoutheast toward the Wisconsin River.

New Conclusions

  1. The Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County, Wisconsin, poses no apparent healthhazard because current exposures to site-related contaminants do not exceed healthguidelines for chronic exposure. No apparant increased cancer risks or non-cancer effects are associated with the completed exposure pathways.

  2. Installation of the groundwater recovery and treatment systems has reduced the contamination and the potential for contaminant migration. No additional evaluations are needed to assess past or present health impacts at this site.

The Wisconsin Division of Health recommends continued monitoring of the contaminant plume south of the plant boundary to determine whether it changes direction or spreads. Specifically, wells within the identified plume should continue to be monitored quarterly for chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and trichloroethylene.

Public Health Actions
The following public health actions have been or will be undertaken:

  1. The Wisconsin Division of Health has solicited new health concerns by telephoning residents who have quarterly monitoring of their wells. Specifically, those residents who have had chloroform or carbon tetrachloride detected in their well water have been contacted.

  2. Currently, quarterly sampling of 14 residential wells and the Prairie du Sac municipal wellnear BAAP is being conducted. WDOH has been and will continue to review data as theybecome available. WDOH will respond to public health concerns as needed.


  1. ABB Environmental Services, Inc. 1993. Remedial Investigation Badger Army Ammunition Plant , Baraboo, Wisconsin: Final Remedial Investigation Report Data Item A011. Portland, ME.

  2. Badger Army Ammunition Plant. 1998. Draft Installation Action Plan. Baraboo, Wisconsin.

  3. Badger Army Ammunition Plant Groundwater Program Private Well Results. 1997.

  4. Badger Army Ammunition Plant Groundwater Program Private Well Results. 1998. First Quarter Report.

  5. Badger Army Ammunition Plant Project Management Meeting Minutes. June 1998.

  6. Liesh Environmental Services, Inc. (1997). 1997 Groundwater Narrative Summary Specification #82868, Prepared for Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Olin Corporation. Madison Wisconsin, 53713.

  7. McDonnell, Gretchen, Stone and Webster Engineering Corp.(7/11/98). Personal communication.

  8. Thurow, Dennis, Engineering Manager, Olin Crop. (3/19/98). Personal communication.

  9. Tsai, S.Y., P.A. Benioff, S.Y. Chiu and J.J. Quinn. 1988. Master Environmental Plan for the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. U.S. Department of Energy Contract W-31-109- Eng-38. Argonne, Ill.:Energy and Environmental Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory.

  10. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1994. Badger Army Ammunition (Formerly Used Defense Site) Sauk County, Wisconsin Contamination Investigation Final Report. Buffalo, New York.

  11. Wisconsin Department of Administration.1997. 1997 Wisconsin Population Estimates. Madison, WI.

  12. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 1987. In-Field Conditions Report for Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Baraboo, Wisconsin (WID 210020054). Madison, WI.

  13. Wisconsin Division of Health. 1990. Health Assessment:Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Sauk County, Wisconsin. Madison, WI.

  14. Wisconsin Division of Health. 1990. An Investigation of Cancer Mortality for Communities near the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Madison, WI.

  15. Wisconsin Division of Health. 1997. A Review of Cancer Mortality and Incidence for Communities near the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Madison, WI.


Russhawn N. Jackson, PhD
Health Hazard Evaluation Unit
Bureau of Environmental Health
Division of Public Health
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services

ATSDR Senior Regional Representative

Louise Fabinski
Regional Services
Region V
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officers and Reviewers of the document

Gail Godfrey, Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Steven Inserra, Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Studies

Grant Baldwin, Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Education and Promotion

Emilio Gonzalez, Federal Facilities Branch Reviewer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


This Badger Army Ammunition Plant Public Health Assessment was prepared by the WisconsinDepartment 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.

Richard Gillig


Table 1.

Groundwater Monitoring Well Locations Badger Army Ammunition Plant Sauk County, Wisconsin
Solid Waste Management Unit Number of Wells
Propellant Burning Ground 44
Deterrent Burning Ground 7
Existing Landfill 12
Southern Perimeter/Settling Ponds 18
Oleum Plant and Pond 2
Ballistics Pond 0
Old Acid Area and Fuel Tank Area 4
Magazine Area 1
Nitroglycerine Pond/Rocket Paste Area 2
Southeast Boundary 2
New Acid Area 0
Off-Site Plume Area 18
New Landfill 8
Residential Wells 15
New Landfill 8
  Total 141

Table 2.

Principal Chemicals Identified at the Deterrent Burning Ground and Existing Landfill Badger Army Ammunition Plant Sauk County, Wisconsin
Contaminant Subsurface Soil Groundwater
1,1,1-Trichloroethane   X
2,4-Dinitrotoluene X  
2,6-Dinitrotoluene X  
Benzene X X
Nitrates   X
Sulfate X X
X = Contaminants found at maximal concentrations in specified media.
Adopted from Final Remedial Investigation Report..1

Table 3.

Principal Chemicals Identified at the Propellant Burning Ground Badger Army Ammunition Plant Sauk County, Wisconsin
Contaminant Surface Soil Subsurface Soil Groundwater
1,1,1-Trichloroethane     X
2,4-Dinitrotroluene X X  
2,6-Dinitrotoluene X X  
Benzene X X  
Chloroform   X X
Carbon Tetrachloride   X X
Trichloroethylene   X X
N-Nitrosodiphenylamine X X  
Lead X X  
X = Contaminants found at maximal concentrations in specified media.
Adopted from Final Remedial Investigation Report.1

Table 4.

Maximum Volatile Organic Compound Exceedences Of Enforcement Standards at the Propellant Burning Ground (1996) Badger Army Ammunition Plant Sauk County, Wisconsin
Contaminant Maximum Concentration Detected (µg/L) ES
Carbon Tetrachloride 89.0 5.0
Chloroform 7.0 6.0
Trichloroethylene 67.0 5.0
Concentrations in µg/L.
Table values obtained from 1997 Groundwater Narrative.6
ES = Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standard.

Table 5.

Maximum Concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds Detected in Off-Site Monitoring Wells South of Badger Army Ammunition Plant Sauk County, Wisconsin
Contaminant Maximum Concentration Detected 1991-19921 Maximum Concentration Detected 19962 ES
Carbon Tetrachloride 10.8 2.2 5.0
Chloroform 1.31 3.5 6.0
Trichloroethylene 0.425 2.6 5.0
Concentrations in µg/L
ES = Wisconsin Enforcement Standard.
1 Final Remedial Investigation Report.1
2 1997 Groundwater Narrative Summary.6

Table 6.

Maximum Concentrations of Chloroform and Carbon Tetrachloride Detected in Four Private/Residential Wells Near Badger Army Ammunition Plant 1990-1998 Sauk County, Wisconsin
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
PRIVATE WELL #801                  
Carbon Tetrachloride -- -- -- -- -- -- .20 -- --
Chloroform -- -- .96 -- .40 .38 .10 .20 --
PRIVATE WELL #826                  
Carbon Tetrachloride -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Chloroform .32 .10 .15 1.10 .80 .40 .20 .30 --
PRIVATE WELL #875                  
Carbon Tetrachloride NR NR NR NR NR NR .30 -- --
Chloroform NR NR NR NR .70 .59 .80 1.20 1.20
PRIVATE WELL #998                  
Carbon Tetrachloride NR NR NR -- -- -- .30 .20 --
Chloroform NR NR NR -- .47 .10 .40 1.7 .90
Concentrations in µg/L
NR = Not Reported
-- = Below Detection Limit
Values Obtained from Quarterly Private Well Groundwater Results


Area Map
Figure 1. Area Map

Site Map
Figure 2. Site Map


  1. Comment postmarked Nov. 5, 1998: Page 4, second paragraph. When the second source control well was connected to the IRM, two of the boundary control wells had to be disconnected from the IRM.
  2. The assessment was revised to reflect this change.

  3. Comment postmarked Nov. 5, 1998: Badger did not have BALL POWDER® propellant manufacturing capability until 1951.
  4. The assessment was revised to reflect this change.

  5. Comment postmarked Nov. 3, 1998: Page 4, paragraph 4, sentence 3: change "discharges of VOCs" to "capture of VOCs" since there are carbon canisters on the SVE system to capture the VOCs before they are released to the atmosphere.
  6. The assessment was revised to reflect this change.

  7. Comment postmarked Nov.3, 1998: The document is not clear about the number of residential/private wells monitored quarterly, stating both 15 and 17. Quarterly groundwater monitoring was done on seventeen wells serving residences (16 homes and the Prairie du Sac well) until the September 1998 quarterly sampling round, when the WDNR requirements were reduced. Currently 14 residences and the Prairie du Sac well, for a total of 15 wells that serve residences, are monitored quarterly.
  8. The assessment was revised to reflect this change.

  9. Comment postmarked Nov.3, 1998:Recommend adding "In 1998 another site called the Oleum landfill, which was not addressed in the Remedial Investigation report, was determined to require additional study." This landfill appears to contain building construction and demolition debris, and is documented in the Preliminary Investigation Report for the Oleum Landfill dated August 12, 1998, prepared by John Hansen, Olin Corporation.
  10. The assessment has been revised to include this information.

  11. Comment postmarked Nov 5, 1998: "The health assessment does not address prolonged exposure to and bioaccumulation of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform in food and water and how this may affect human health."
  12. Carbon tetrachloride and chloroform are both volatile organic compounds. Under normal ambient temperatures and pressures, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) readily dissipate. Carbon tetrachloride and chloroform do not bioaccumulate in food, water or the body. When ingested, the body metabolizes these compounds, after which, they are excreted. If levels of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform are very high in water, these chemicals may absorb into the body. Adverse health effects are not expected from dermal exposure to carbon tetrachloride and chloroform at the levels detected in residential water supplies near BAAP.

    As stated in the public health assessment, ingestion of water containing 0.3 µg/L carbon tetrachloride and 1.7 µg/L chloroform, the highest levels detected in residential water supplies near BAAP since 1990, does not pose an apparent health hazard. This analysis was based upon consumption of 2 liters of water daily for 70 years containing carbon tetrachloride and chloroform at the those levels.

  13. Comment postmarked Nov 5, 1998: The assessment does not address past, present, or future worker exposure.
  14. The purpose of the public health assessment was to evaluate residential exposures to environmental contamination coming from BAAP. An evaluation of past, present, or future worker exposure was beyond the scope of the assessment, and thus, was not included in the report. Worker safety is regulated under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and has been since 1970. OSHA regulates and enforces standards to ensure workplace safety. All concerns about past, present, or future worker safety issues should be submitted to: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210. Additionally, if former workers have health questions, they are encouraged to contact us directly. We will work with them to address their concerns on an individual basis.

  15. Comment postmarked Nov. 5, 1998: "The assessment does not address health risks from current, pending, or future clean-up activities at BAAP."
  16. All remedial activities at BAAP must be approved by WDNR. WDNR consults with WDOH to ensure the protection of public health as a result of remedial activities at BAAP. WDOH has reviewed current remedial activities at BAAP and finds no evidence that conditions are posing any health risks to nearby residents. WDOH will continue to consult with the WDNR throughout future remedial activities to assess potential threats to human health.

  17. Comment postmarked Nov. 5, 1998: "The WDOH previously concluded that there was an increased risk of cancer and should not retract that statement to dilute the importance of such a fact."
  18. The 1990 Health Assessment conclusion stated that:

    "Current groundwater contaminant levels indicate that a small number of families living within the boundaries of the current plume may have slightly increased cancer risks."

    That conclusion was based upon groundwater monitoring data available in 1990, specifically for the families exposed to elevated levels of carbon tetrachloride and chloroform in their water supplies. Those exposed to elevated levels of chloroform and carbon tetrachloride in 1990 have since had their wells replaced and are no longer being exposed to elevated levels of those contaminants. Therefore, the projected lifetime exposure that accounted for the increased risk will not occur.

    The current health assessment is based on groundwater monitoring data obtained from 1990 thru 1998. Current contaminant levels in residential wells are far below levels detected in 1990 and are far below the Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards. Both the current and 1990 cancer risk assessments are based on daily consumption of contaminated water, at the highest concentrations detected, for 70 years. Thus, both assessments provided the most conservative estimates of cancer risks as a result of contaminant exposure. Although any amount of contamination is undesirable, no adverse health effects are expected as a result of exposure to chloroform and carbon tetrachloride at levels currently detected in private water supplies.

  19. Comment postmarked Nov 3, 1998: WDOH solicited input and incorporated data and conclusions presented by representatives of the U.S. Army (the polluter and responsible party) and consultants under contract with the U.S. Army and did not perform any independent studies.
  20. Except in cases where the responsible party is reluctant to collect important samples, WDOH does not typically collect environmental samples for analysis. In preparing public health assessments, WDOH relies on environmental sampling data collected by U.S. EPA, WDNR, and potentially responsible parties and their contractors. WDOH relies on the oversight of BAAP activities by U.S. EPA and WDNR along with quality assurance and quality control methods of certified laboratories. Thus, WDOH has no reason to believe that the data analyzed for the public health assessment are biased or inaccurate.

  21. Comment postmarked Nov 3,1998: WDOH did not initiate any outreach to the affected community or their physicians. Virtually no resources were devoted to interviewing residents as to current health problems and concerns they associate with their proximity to BAAP.
  22. As stated in the public health assessment, WDOH solicited community health concerns by contacting area residents affected by the present groundwater contamination and by consulting the local health department. Health concerns are also solicited with quarterly monitoring results distributed to area residents. Additionally, in March 1998, WDOH held a public meeting to present the findings of the cancer rate analysis for the Badger area and medical education for area physicians at the Tri-County Medical Society meeting. The medical presentation entitled "Role of the Clinician in Diagnosing Environmental Illness" was presented with an emphasis on potential exposure to environmental contamination from BAAP. As a result of those efforts, no new health concerns were identified.

  23. Comment postmarked Nov. 3, 1998: Multiple routes of exposure were not considered in the health assessment.
  24. A completed exposure pathway is a pathway in which clear indications are found that people are exposed to contaminants from the site and where enough information is available to evaluate that exposure. All potential routes of exposure were examined, and only one completed exposure pathway for residents living near BAAP exists as a result of contamination at BAAP. As identified in the public health assessment, ingestion of contaminated groundwater is the only pathway in which people are being exposed to contamination from BAAP.

  25. Comment received on Nov. 3, 1998: " Numerous and relevant studies and data were not considered and incorporated in the WDOH assessment including USAEHA-EA Preliminary Air Pollution Engineering Survey, Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Baraboo, Wisconsin, October 1968; Air Pollution Engineering Source and Atmospheric Sampling Survey; Sanitary Engineering Survey and Industrial Waste Special Study; Waste Quality Engineering Study, NPDES Permit No. WI Industrial Waste Special Study; Waste Quality Engineering Study, NPDESPermit No. WI 0002755"
  26. The public health assessment was not intended to be an exhaustive literature review of every study published about BAAP. Although numerous studies have been completed at BAAP, not all of them provided new or relevant information for the public health assessment.

    The above-mentioned studies document air and water pollution resulting from specific manufacturing practices at BAAP. The USAEHA-EA Preliminary Air Pollution Engineering Survey and the Air Pollution Engineering Source and Atmospheric Sampling Survey studies both addressed air emissions exceedances and were initiated as a result of complaints by nearby residents. The fact that people complained of air emissions coming from BAAP is documented in the public health assessment. However, to positively and accurately correlate illnesses people are currently experiencing with specific exposure events that took place 30 years ago without exposure data (estimates of levels of exposure) is impossible. Unfortunately, historical data are not available to make such an assessment. The Sanitary Engineering Survey and Industrial Waste Special Study and the Waste Quality Engineering Study both address water and waste water quality issues at BAAP. As a result of each of these studies, engineering controls were recommended to enhance water quality.

  27. Comment received on Nov. 3, 1998: Exceedences of the drinking water Enforcement Standards for nitrates in areas surrounding BAAP were not considered. Facility-wide exceedences of the Groundwater Enforcement Standards for nitrates and toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium were also not addressed.
  28. Chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and trichloroethylene are the only contaminants identified in the contaminant plume originating from BAAP. Land around BAAP is primarily agricultural, and groundwater in the area is frequently contaminated with nitrates, a component of fertilizers. Therefore, nitrate exceedences in the BAAP area have not been unequivocally attributed to BAAP activities. Facility-wide exceedences of the drinking water standards for nitrates, metals, and other chemicals are well documented; however, people are not consuming this contaminated groundwater. BAAP maintains a treatment facility for water used throughout the facility.

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