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Results from the 1997 sampling activities identified chemical contamination in soils and groundwater at the property. Soils at the surface and at depth were contaminated with VOCs, PAHs, metals, pesticides and PCBs. Groundwater was contaminated with VOCs. The potential for the clamshells to contain levels of contaminants that might cause adverse health effects is quite low. However, the act of digging for them is likely to bring people into contact with chemical contamination in the surrounding soils.

Surface soil contamination at the property is of most concern due to the potential for direct contact exposure. It is less likely that people will come in frequent contact with subsurface soils. Lead, chromium, and cadmium were found at levels of concern in a number of soil samples across the property. Arsenic and mercury were also elevated at a couple of locations, though their occurrence was less widespread and coincided with areas having elevated lead.

PAHs, pesticides, and PCBs were also found in soils at elevated concentrations. The sampling done to date does not adequately characterize surface soils across the entire property. The removal action on the property disturbed some of the areas previously sampled. For this reason, samples taken in these areas prior to the removal may not accurately represent existing conditions.

Table 5.

West Bend Plating Phase 2 Samples Soil Sample Results Summary
Parameter High Concentration Comparison Value Source
Arsenic 33.6 ppm 0.5 ppm CREG
Cadmium 336 ppm 40 ppm EMEG
Chromium 1650 ppm 135 ppm WBPH*
Lead 2800 ppm 400 ppm ATSDR
PAHs as benzo(a)pyrene 3.0 ppm (S11) 0.1 ppm CREG
PCBs 18.0 ppm 0.4 ppm CREG

CREG -Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide, represents the likely l in 1,000,000 increased cancer risk level for residential exposures.
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide, represents a level below which no adverse, noncancer health effects are expected in a residential scenario.
WBPH* - This level was developed for a similar scenario in Wisconsin by the Bureau of Public Health for hexavalent chromium in surface soils.
ATSDR - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recommended residential soil lead levels based on an USEPA study.

VOCs detected in on-site soils are of more concern for their potential to impact groundwater or discharge directly to the Milwaukee River. The VOCs identified include chlorinated solvents and petroleum-related compounds. There is potential for these chemicals to exist as hot spots beneath the property. Groundwater sampling results have identified contamination with several VOCs. Both vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene were found in groundwater monitoring wells above levels that are safe to drink. Petroleum contamination was found in soil borings near the former underground gasoline storage tank. This soil contamination is at depth and not available for direct contact exposure. The groundwater beneath the site is not used for drinking water. Groundwater contaminants from this property do not threaten existing water supply wells.

The VOCs and some metals can migrate with groundwater to the river. However, the available sampling information does not indicate that such a discharge would be measurable. The exception may be at the direct discharge out-fall from the property to the river identified by DNR. At this discharge point contaminants may be released without significant dilution during runoff events. Because this may be a direct discharge from contaminated soils, other less mobile contaminants such as PAHs and PCBs may also be released at this point. Past discharges to the river of waste materials from the site would likely be dispersed over the course of the river downstream. A possible exception would be in shoreline areas where stream flow is slow and fine-grained sediments can accumulate. An inspection of the property shoreline and near downstream shoreline for fine grained sediment deposits would determine the potential for contaminant buildup.

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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
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