Wisconsin DNR Issues Preliminary Determination on Army for Sediment Clean-up at Former Badger Army Ammunition


The Department of Natural Resources has made a preliminary determination that the U.S Army’s preferred alternative for clean-up of contaminated soil in a string of settling ponds, Final Creek and the spoils disposal area at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant, is feasible and appropriate for the intended future use of the property as the newly designated Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.

The Army’s preferred alternative is to excavate and landfill the contaminated soil.

The public is invited to review and provide written or emailed comment on the complete proposal, including the preferred alternative, Feb. 7 – March 11. The department and the U.S. Army will host a public open house on Feb. 20, 5 – 7 p.m. at The River Arts Center, 105 9th Street, Prairie du Sac to answer questions on the department’s review process and the clean-up action plan.

Representatives of the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army and the Department of Health Services will be available to discuss the proposal and answer questions.

The complete proposal and the department’s preliminary determination can be reviewed on the DNR’s webpage, dnr.wi.gov, by entering the keywords “master planning” in the search box and then selecting “Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.”

Copies of the documents also can be viewed at the following locations:

  • Sauk City Public Library, 515 Water St., Sauk City
  • Ruth Culver Community Library, 540 Water St., Prairie du Sac
  • Badger Army Ammunition Plant, 2 Badger Road, Baraboo
  • Department of Natural Resources, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd., Fitchburg

Comments can be sent to: Will Myers, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 3911 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711, (608) 273-5613, [email protected]

After the public comment period has ended, the department will respond to comments received and will issue a final determination on the clean-up proposal.

“Excavation of contaminated soil and disposal in a landfill is a common and accepted remedial action at Badger as well as throughout Wisconsin,” said Linda Hanefeld, remediation and redevelopment team supervisor. “Our preliminary determination is that this plan of action would satisfy all applicable Wisconsin laws and codes and protect human health.”

The Army proposal also considered using a stabilization process to “bind” contaminants (mainly dinitrotoluene or DNT and lead) in place or leave things as they are without disturbing anything.

Under the preferred alternative clean-up would involve removal of contaminated sediments within the settling ponds and creek bed and in an area surrounding the ponds to an approved landfill. Such a landfill exists on the former BAAP property and has been used for this purpose in other clean-up actions.

Consideration of the proposal included an analysis comparing anticipated residual contaminant levels in the area of the settling ponds, Final Creek and spoils disposal area following excavation with the intended future use of the property by workers and visitors.

Prior to ending production of munitions propellants at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant, water from the propellant manufacturing process was discharged to Final Creek. Contaminants in the discharged water settled in the creek bed and in four settling ponds. Soils excavated from the ponds during the years of plant operations were deposited in the spoils disposal area.

Officials stress that the preliminary determination only applies to the proposed strategy for the clean-up. The department has authority to require additional work if deemed necessary to meet previously agreed upon remediation standards.

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