Mercury Marine has completed a US$3m cleanup of its former facility in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. The old facility operated from 1951 to 1982 as an aluminium die-casting plant. The old aluminium die-casting plant will be turned into a green space.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, contractors removed 15,320 tonnes of concrete and soil, much of it contaminated with toxic chemicals. Tom Baumgartner, Mercury’s environmental compliance director, told the paper that loads of contaminated concrete and soil were shipped to a special landfill in Indiana for disposal. The contractors excavated to depths of between four and 17 feet.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were in hydraulic fluids and lubricants that leaked from Mercury’s equipment. The fluids eventually made their way into Cedarburg Creek and were found five miles away in the Milwaukee River.
Baumgartner wrote a letter to the community, saying the old site will be covered in grass, "transforming it into an attractive green space."
"We are hopeful the property will be redeveloped in a manner that benefits nearby residents and the greater Cedarburg community," the letter says.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to select a cleanup strategy for Cedar Creek.
(Source: IBI News. View the original story here.)