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Posts Written By: Jim Powell

From the Archives: “The Mean Machine” on Lake Monona, Madison, Wis., 2006

From the Archives: “The Mean Machine” on Lake Monona, Madison, Wis., 2006

 

In September 2006, MEJO held a fish advisory sign making party and fish fry at Brittingham Park on Monona Bay in Madison. Wis., to raise awareness of shoreline anglers about toxins in fish in the lakes.

One participant was Robert Burton McGee, who shared a little of his story and recited a poem he had written called “The Mean Machine.”

Monona Bay Fish Advisory Sign & Fish Fry (September 2006) Full Photo Gallery

Fish Advisory Posts and Info

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City to Lease Rain Garden to Polluter

City to Lease Rain Garden to Polluter

(High resolution version of above graphic here)

SUMMARY: The City of Madison wishes to extend a lease with Madison-Kipp Corp. through 2023 that will allow Kipp to control the rain garden it has polluted, continue to use part of the north parking lot (which it has also contaminated), and will give full credit towards its lease costs for a wooden fence that allegedly blocks sound. Meanwhile, people who live next to Kipp say that noise from the factory has been louder than ever, and often is the worst in the middle of the night. [1]

Given Kipp’s long history of polluting Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona through its unmonitored discharges into the City storm water drains (including one in the rain garden, where most of Kipp’s contaminated stormwater discharges are released), it’s curious that the City would now like to give Kipp control over this land.

DETAILS: The City of Madison has a long relationship with Madison-Kipp Corp. The city owns the land under the Kipp Fair Oaks factory and under the north parking lot at the Kipp Waubesa factory. Now the City wants to lease its heavily-polluted rain garden to Kipp for free (zero rent because of the full credit for the “sound blocking” fence).

Runoff from nearly the entire Kipp Waubesa factory property has been going into a City stormwater drain for many decades (a century?). In 2006, the City built the ill-fated rain garden where this pipe discharges, despite existing documentation of extensive PCE contamination throughout the Kipp site. This area was already leased to Kipp, so the City amended its lease, took back the land and gave Kipp a $900 lease credit. From the 2009 amended lease:

During the time of the recent construction of the new Goodman Community Center at 149 Waubesa Street, the City of Madison constructed a storm water management surface water retention facility adjacent to the East Rail Corridor Bike Path. The facility was constructed in a portion of the leased premises that the City leased to the Madison-Kipp Corporation (MKC) beginning in 1998. In order to correct the situation, it is necessary to amend the lease to remove that portion of the leased premises that the City reoccupied. The portion contains approximately 2,100 square feet and its removal equates to a permanent reduction of the annual rent of $900.

In 2012 and 2013, several toxic contaminants, including PCE, PCBs, PAHs and metals were discovered in rain garden soils (see the main graphic above here).  Soil PCB levels in some spots were many order of magnitude above DNR standards for direct contact. Several rounds of excavation have been done there, but the big question still remains: where did all this pollution come from?

MEJO has learned of a never-before disclosed Kipp factory drainage system that goes under the factory and leads to the stormwater drain and ditch (leading to Starkweather Creek, which eventually drains into Lake Monona). Historically, PCBs, PCEs, PAHs, dioxins, metals, and other unknown (unmeasured) chemicals from Kipp processes have flowed into this drainage system.

The City does not know the full extent of this drainage system and has not investigated what chemicals are currently draining into it from Kipp’s air vents/stacks and ongoing remediation projects–or what might be entering it from under the Kipp factory.

It has finally been made public that Kipp had a secret trench in its factory that drained into the City stormwater drain. EPA is now working to get Kipp to remediate the unbelievably high levels of PCBs under the factory. FYI: EPA still hasn’t settled with Kipp over its air pollution permit notice of violation. Perhaps the City should investigate the toxins going into the rain garden before it hands it over to Kipp.

City "rain garden" between Kipp and Goodman

City “rain garden” between Kipp and Goodman

Kipp has polluted this City land for a century (along with Kipp’s City-owned parking lot).  Why should the City allow Kipp to have control of public land that it has treated so badly?  Is there any evidence that Kipp can be a “good steward”of public lands? Since this land is adjacent to the City bike path and a community center, the City might be wise to keep control of it rather than allow a lessee with such a bad track record control it. Instead, this public rain garden will now become Kipp’s private property.And people who live along Waubesa and Marquette Streets, as well as those families who use the Goodman Community Center, not to mention the parents of all the children who will use the new splash pad next year (right next to the rain garden!), should know about this and have a chance to tell District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel and the City if they agree with the wisdom of giving Kipp control of more public land. There should be a public neighborhood meeting at the Goodman Center before the Madison City Council allows Kipp to lease the rain garden.

Addendum: The “sound blocking” wooden fence was supposed to be on the north boundary too (along the bike path, between Kipp and the Goodman Community Center. This wasn’t built. Here is the proposed location per the 2009 amended lease.

[1] Kipp and government agencies attribute this increased noise to the testing and construction of the groundwater remediation system. However, many people living on Marquette Street have been experiencing increased noises from Kipp since before this construction started. Also, the noise often goes all night long and people say they cannot sleep. Why does Kipp need to do this noisy work all night long?

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“Mother Nature, though wounded, begins to take care of it,” says polluter

“Mother Nature, though wounded, begins to take care of it,” says polluter

At a March 19 public presentation, the president of Madison-Kipp Corporation described various pollution remediation actions that the aluminum parts manufacturer is belatedly being forced to do by the Wisconsin DNR, as a result of decades of citizen complaints and recent lawsuits. A sparsely attended meeting at the Goodman Community Center, adjacent to Kipp, was the setting for the hour long presentation by its CEO, Tony Koblinski.

Describing the expansive Kipp PCE  pollution plume that extends underground through the Atwood neighborhood, Koblinski assured attendees that over time “Mother Nature, though wounded, begins to take care of it.”

About a dozen public officials from various state, county and city agencies sat at tables in the back, but did not speak even once during the meeting (though many of Mr. Koblinski’s statements were unsubstantiated by the evidence and/or incorrect). We have never seen a neighborhood meeting to address environmental and human health concerns completely turned over to the polluter, as was done at this meeting. Now we know what it looks like. It was very disturbing.

MEJO videotaped the event, over the objections of Koblinski who apparently has never been to a public meeting (where this is commonplace). Click the links below to watch the video, which is being presented as part of the public record regarding this ongoing saga of a loud and smelly old factory, a century of pollution, and a residential neighborhood.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

[This is the entire presentation, except for few seconds at the beginning that we missed and the times when we switched out full video cards.]
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Kipp Offers Water Utility Some Advice: Run Olbrich Well 24/7!

Kipp Offers Water Utility Some Advice: Run Olbrich Well 24/7!

In a February 26, 2014 email Madison-Kipp Corporation advised the Madison Water Utility to pump the Olbrich Well (Well 8) full-time, after the Water Utility Board asked for assurance from the Wisconsin DNR that Well 8 will not be impacted by Kipp’s contamination plume.

Apparently the Water Utility is considering using Well 8 full-time again, despite knowing that the well is very likely connected to the upper aquifer, making it highly vulnerable to the significant contamination spreading from Kipp. This information, found in Kipp’s consultant report on DNR website, flies in the face of repeated assurances from the Madison Water Utility and Kipp over the last several years that Well 8 is protected from Kipp’s contamination by the Eau Claire shale layer. See footnote for more information and a link to the report.

In the Feb. 26 email, Kipp’s consultant, at the request of Kipp CEO Tony Koblinski, asserted that “all of the data, information, and best available science indicate that Unit Well 8 will not be impacted by PCE in groundwater at the Madison Kipp site if Well 8 operates 24/7.” In support of this, among other things, Kipp claims that “the vertical extent of PCE has been delineated at the Madison Kipp site,” “is not deeper than 170 feet,” and the “the PCE plume has stabilized and is no longer expanding.”

These claims are completely unsubstantiated by evidence. The vertical and horizontal extents of the Kipp plume have never been fully delineated, as this memo describes, and communications among government officials also state. Since nobody knows how deep and wide the Kipp plume really is—because there hasn’t been enough testing— it is impossible to verify that the plume is “stabilized” and “no longer expanding.”

This raises many questions. One big one: Why would it be to Kipp’s advantage to pump Well 8 full time? We speculate on this and other questions in an upcoming post. Please send your thoughts on this to info “at”mejo.us

*************************

The Well 8 log is in the last 3 pages of this report. On p. 9 of the report, it states:

“The City of Madison drinking water source is groundwater from various sandstone bedrock formations. Municipal Unit Well 8 is the closest municipal well to the Site and is approximately 1,400 feet southeast of the Site (Figure 1). Municipal Unit Well 8 is cased to 280 feet bls, below the Eau Claire shale aquitard, and is an open bedrock well across the Mount Simon Formation from 280 to 774 feet bls (McCarthy, 1945). According to the Unit Well 8 boring log (Appendix C), dynamite shots were used in a nearby test borehole at depths of approximately 380 feet, 430 feet, 480 feet, and 530 feet to fracture the bedrock between the test and Unit Well 8 borehole to increase the specific capacity of Unit Well 8. After the boreholes were connected by fracturing the bedrock, Unit Well 8 was tested at a pumping rate of approximately 1,965 gallons per minute with 65 feet of drawdown, yielding a specific capacity of approximately 30 gallons per minute per foot of drawdown.”

The “test well” they are referring to above is not cased through the Eau Claire shale. This means it is open to the upper aquifer. Because the test well and the production well have been connected (via dynamite shots), essentially the two wells are connected. In sum, this means that Well 8 is very likely connected to the upper aquifer through the test well hole. Government officials at city, county, and state agencies have known about this for some time, but have never shared this information publicly.

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Environmental Injustices “Beneath the Surface” in Madison

Environmental Injustices “Beneath the Surface” in Madison

In “progressive” Madison, denial of any serious environmental pollution problems, growing race and income inequalities, and white privilege among government decisionmakers work together to create—and yet render invisible—racial and socioeconomic disparities in exposures to toxic contaminants. Watch this excellent documentary by University of Wisconsin students Makie Matsumoto-Hervol, Jessica Duma, Mitchell Johnson, and Ellie Shand to learn more about environmental injustices related to subsistence fishing in Madison…

 

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DNR Too Busy to Answer Questions About Madison-Kipp. Can Anyone Out There Help?

DNR Too Busy to Answer Questions About Madison-Kipp. Can Anyone Out There Help?

For several years, MEJO has been asking the Wisconsin DNR questions related to Madison-Kipp Corporation’s toxic pollution. Last December, Remediation and Redevelopment staff threatened us with a $700 fee to ask further questions—citing this policy. The DNR email message and our response are here.

On January 29, 2014, we met with South Central Region Bureau Director Mark Aquino and three of his staff to discuss their rationale for applying this policy— clearly intended for industries and facilities that have released toxic pollution—to citizens asking questions about the effects of this pollution on people and the environment.

They explained that the DNR is too busy to answer further questions. They have much more important work to do. They reminded us that we can review online and hard copy files any time to search for answers to our questions. Here is a partial transcript of what they said.

Given this, we appreciate the generosity of DNR to allow four agency managers to take an hour and a half to meet with us free of charge. This probably cost taxpayers about $300, so the DNR could have raised $400 ($700 technical assistance fee minus $300 actual costs) to reduce the state’s debt—but they didn’t; we’ll be eternally grateful). But we have learned that these public servants do not want to be burdened by further questions about Kipp.

This leaves us with a problem. Many of our questions have never been answered. New questions are arising all the time as monitoring data is released and we review documents. We have reviewed thousands of pages of documents and still not found answers. We have spent entire days going through jumbled, unorganized files at state and local government offices looking for information or documents we never found. Some critical documents—that we know exist—don’t seem to be in the files at all. Others seem to have disappeared from the files over time—we saw them once, they were gone the next time.  Aquino assured us that these files were the “official repository,” so the disorganization of the files, and ease by which documents come and go, are disconcerting.

Further, many of our most important questions cannot be answered by reviewing documents; we need answers from actual people—in particular, government agency staff who make decisions related to Kipp pollution.

But rather than further burden the understaffed and overwhelmed DNR, we have decided to try other strategies to address our questions. We turned to Ask.com, but it didn’t have answers either.* So we will turn to you—citizens, the public, anyone out there—for help with our questions. We are launching a new series, “Unanswered Questions: Madison-Kipp Unbound—How a Polluter Gets Its Way” in which we will post questions that we would have sent to DNR and other government agencies—or have sent them in the past but not received adequate (or any) answers. We hope someone out there can help us!

Watch for Part 1 of “Unanswered Questions,” coming soon….

 

*Ask.com directs you the DNR Brownfields web pages for Kipp, which don’t have the answers, of course.

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A recent Madison Commons article about eating locally caught fish and EJ

A recent Madison Commons article about eating locally caught fish and EJ

 From Madison Commons:

Advisories on eating fish from local lakes may not be reaching all

 By Yilang Peng     |  Thu, 10/17/2013 – 10:19am

Fish from Madison’s lakes contain contaminants that can pose adverse health effects to people who consume them. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued recommendations suggesting that people limit their consumption of fish caught in the lakes.

Read more…

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Still Invisible: The Risks of Eating Locally Caught Fish from Polluted Waters

Still Invisible: The Risks of Eating Locally Caught Fish from Polluted Waters

MEJO’s first project involved toxins in locally caught fish in Madison, Wis. What we had expected to be a two month project–installing fish consumption advisory signs along lake shorelines–turned into two-year fight against the intransigence of public officials. Even then, flush with a small victory, we were hopeful that the success we did have would lead to more, writing “As to whether the evidence we gathered encourages public health or other government agencies to advocate for more signs or further work to address fish consumption risk disparities, as this book went to press the jury was still out.”

This was in our chapter in the 2011 MIT Press book, “Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert Cultures in a Grassroots Movement (Gwen Ottinger and Benjamin R. Cohen, editors).

Boy, were we wrong.

Our chapter was called Invisible People, Invisible Risks: How Scientific Assessments of Environmental Health Risks Overlook Minorities-and How Community Participation Can Make Them Visible.

But as we learned in 2013 when public officials said they couldn’t afford to replace a few missing signs, these people are still invisible. [The signs cost about $50 each.]

Here’s the conclusion from that chapter:

Conclusion: MEJO’s Community Collective Work Transforming
Institutional Risk Assessments

MEJO’s ongoing work builds on environmental justice efforts elsewhere (including the many projects described in this book) in which laypeople and community organizations push from the bottom up to bring environmental health risk gaps and disparities to light in institutional risk assessments and policies. Our projects are creating productive ruptures in long-standing institutional scientific practices by bringing diverse people directly into risk-assessment and communication processes that typically privilege institutional scientific experts and that rely on abstract, reductionist approaches that tend to overlook race and class disparities as well as local cultures and knowledge.

MEJO has been slowly bringing the cultural contexts and knowledge of local angling communities to the awareness of institution officials and academic scientists by sharing these contextual factors in part through the various community interactions discussed above. The organization has also held several public events to raise awareness about fish contamination and the need for signs. It has also brought environmental justice in Madison to the public eye by sending out numerous press releases about these efforts, resulting in coverage in the local daily, weekly, and minority newspapers, as well as local TV and radio (Cullen 2008; Novak 2006; Schneider 2008a, 2008b; Weier 2006). The press releases and reports have generated media attention to the fish consumption disparities, increasing broader community and political awareness of these inequities. Such public events and media coverage play important roles in building public and political awareness and dialog about environmental justice issues that are otherwise invisible.

Coordinating these public outreach elements is part of, not distinct from, the work to reformulate scientific processes of risk assessment. All along, MEJO has facilitated the inclusion of minority anglers, leaders, and other community members in public meetings to share their perspectives directly with agency representatives, politicians, and scientists.

Based on public officials’ reactions in meetings, it is clear that many of them have not interacted with poor minorities in their professional work before and some are being exposed to race, class, and cultural perspectives they have never considered before. This very exposure at a cultural community level, we argue, is a necessary step toward changing risk-assessment procedures to include the experiences of affected populations.

Although there is no shortage of evidence of resistance to change and deference to entrenched models of risk assessment that will be difficult to transform, MEJO’s work also shows signs that its efforts are slowly paying off. There are indeed small signs that these activities are changing the public officials’ approaches to addressing these disparities. These include an increasing willingness to accept MEJO’s data, collaborate with MEJO in gathering more data, and accept cultural and contextual knowledge of diverse angling communities as valid and important components of risk assessments. MEJO’s efforts regarding fish advisory signs along local lakes have also encouraged public and policy discussions about risk and communication disparities.

The advisory resolution that ultimately passed, although weakened, requires public agencies to work with MEJO to investigate communication efforts, which will hopefully engender further multicultural dialog about environmental justice in Madison.

MEJO leaders and members are developing working relationships with public officials and knowledge of political processes related to public health assessments, helping them become active participants in these processes. Several MEJO members have gained organizing experience and enough knowledge about fish consumption risks to be effective public communicators of their community’s and MEJO’s concerns. This in turn has helped MEJO’s credibility with other local community organizations of color, and the group is beginning to develop collaborations with these organizations.

Multicultural organizing, of course, is extremely time intensive, as well as politically and culturally challenging. In part because of existing segregation, racism, and lack of access among minority groups in Madison, groups of color have limited power in the community. Anger and tensions about this lack of power and access, and about deep and systemic inequities between minorities and whites, at times create emotionally charged public and political interactions. Moreover, although MEJO has begun to bring Hmong, Latino, and African-American groups together-an important accomplishment in itself-it has been difficult to facilitate sustained participation by people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Cultural and language differences among racial/ethnic groups can be pronounced, and are sometimes barriers to effective collective organizing.

Beyond the essential step for creating increasing awareness of environmental injustices, the case of MEJO illustrates mechanisms that can gradually transform institutional scientific practices-such as creating common meeting forums, working to negotiate language with various stakeholders, diversifying voices in relevant debates-that we hope will provide examples for scientists, scholars, and activists alike. Our work illustrates some ways that risk scientists and communicators can effectively engage with diverse people affected by risks, and incorporate their knowledge into risk assessments-making these assessments not only more equitable and culturally relevant but also more comprehensive and accurate. Risk communications based on these improved assessments, likewise, will be more just and relevant and will hopefully reach people not previously reached because risk assessments rendered them invisible.

Toward those ends, and as a kind of epilogue to this chapter, MEJO released a report in the summer of 2008 based on its fish consumption surveys and focus-group results, outlining fish consumption disparities and recommending that lake-specific advisory signs, in Spanish, Hmong, and English, be permanently installed in most popular shoreline fishing locations (Powell and Powell 2008). The local public health agency in turn released its own report calling for increased outreach efforts and recommended that signs be installed in three languages at the three or four most popular shoreline spots. Although the agency report only adopted some of MEJO’s recommendations, and framed the fish consumption and communication issues on its terms, it was a step forward.

The advisory sign project, however, encountered a surprising level of political resistance from natural resource agency leaders who did not want signs posted in city and county parks. MEJO continued to advocate for the signs-and for more than just three or four. In the fall of 2008,
MEJO activists persuaded city and county elected officials to add just a few hundred dollars more to the advisory sign budget, which resulted in at least one sign in all of the most heavily fished urban locations. MEJO members designed the signs, making sure species that are eaten by many shore anglers but missing from advisories (e.g., white bass, catfish, carp) were included, and provided culturally appropriate Spanish and Hmong translations for the signs. The signs were subsequently approved by local and state public health agencies and the state natural resource department.

Public health officials worked with city and county parks staff to place the signs where MEJO members recommended they be installed, based on their knowledge of the most popular shoreline fishing locations.

It was a small-but hard-won-victory.

In spring 2009, MEJO worked pro bono with the public health department staff to develop a shoreline angler survey in three languages to evaluate the efficacy of the signs (one of the conditions placed on funding the pilot sign project by agency officials who resisted the project).

In the summer and fall of 2009, MEJO helped train interviewers and conducted about 150 surveys with shoreline anglers in English, Hmong, Laotian, and Spanish. Public health staff did about 50 more interviews.

MEJO’s citizen scientist (Maria Powell) analyzed the quantitative and qualitative results and submitted them in a report to the public health agency in December 2009 (Powell, Xiong, and Powell 2009).

The survey results supported previous evidence we and others have gathered on consumption and awareness disparities (e.g., minority shore anglers eat significantly more fish than white anglers and are less aware of advisories)-but also provided useful information on where different kinds of anglers tend to get information about fish and what kinds of information they prefer. The signs are inspiring conversations and questions among shoreline anglers and others who spend time at the lakes about fish consumption risks, causes of water pollution, and ways to get more information and get involved. Most importantly, the interviews showed that shoreline anglers felt the signs were very useful for easily accessible and understandable fish consumption advice. Many anglers suggested that more signs be posted.

From this and prior experiences, our work has shown that while scientists and policymakers can be transformed situationally on specific issues, it takes ongoing diligence on activists’ part to ensure that transformations are more than transitory and result in meaningful outcomes over time. In the projects we describe here, for example, we initiated the concerns, brought together the various local and state stakeholders, conducted the research, set forth plans of action, and advocated in public processes and via media over long periods of time to make sure they were carried out. This involved a tense “push and pull” between us and professionals then used our work as “cover” to push decision makers to tackle environmental justice issues that would likely have fizzled out otherwise-or would not have been initiated at all. Of course, agency scientists’ willingness to advocate on these matters helped us in turn.

When decision makers listened and acted on our recommendations, it was because health agency leaders were willing to lend their credibility to our efforts. For now, though, MEJO has at least a tentative “place at the table” in community decisions about environmental health and justice. As to whether the evidence we gathered encourages public health or other government agencies to advocate for more signs or further work to address fish consumption risk disparities, as this book went to press the jury was still out.

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DNR Now Charging $700 to Answer Questions?

DNR Now Charging $700 to Answer Questions?

The DNR just doesn’t like to answer questions about Madison-Kipp Corp. MEJO has experienced the art of the “non-answer” answer from DNR for years, but now it has gotten to the point where DNR not only won’t answer questions, they want to charge $700 if we bother them again with questions.

 

——– Original Message ——–

Subject:

Re: followup questions re Kipp

Date:

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:44:26 -0600

From:

Maria Powell (MEJO) <mariapowell@mejo.us>

To:

Hanefeld, Linda S – DNR <Linda.Hanefeld@wisconsin.gov>, Schmoller, Michael R – DNR <Michael.Schmoller@wisconsin.gov>, JHausbeck@publichealthmdc.com <JHausbeck@publichealthmdc.com>, Nehls-Lowe, Henry L – DHS <Henry.NehlsLowe@dhs.wisconsin.gov>, Walsh, Patrick – LEGIS <Patrick.Walsh@legis.wisconsin.gov>, Rep.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov <Rep.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov>, Rummel, Marsha <district6@cityofmadison.com>

CC:

Weihemuller, Wendy – DNR <Wendy.Weihemuller@wisconsin.gov>, Giesfeldt, Mark F – DNR <Mark.Giesfeldt@wisconsin.gov>, Aquino, Mark D – DNR <Mark.Aquino@wisconsin.gov>, Miller, Mark <Mark.Miller@legis.wisconsin.gov>, Rep.Sargent@legis.wisconsin.gov

Linda:

Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately, most of your answers are evasive or so vague they are meaningless. We have indeed asked some of these questions before, but some were never answered and/or answers were vague. They were not detailed technical answers. We are of course aware of the documents on the DNR website; we have read most of them and they do not fully or adequately address our questions–in fact, documents posted there raised these questions in the first place.

Now, you seem to be telling us at the end of the email below that we have to pay the DNR $700 if we want any further responses to our questions (presumably this is what you mean by “additional technical assistance”).  This is the first time in my decades of environmental work I have heard of citizens being asked to pay huge fees to government agencies just for answering questions. Is this part of the DNR’s new “customer service” approach?

Are Madison Kipp Corporation and other industries also required to pay DNR $700 every time they want “technical assistance” from the agency? We know Madison Kipp representatives have been at the table for years with the DNR and other state agencies discussing legal, regulatory and technical issues and collectively making decisions–including  throughout the recent lawsuits. Do they pay for this “customer service,” or “technical assistance”? If I and other citizens want to meet with you in person to discuss our questions, can we do so? Do we have to pay a fee for that?

Please clarify. Hopefully, you will do so without us paying you several hundred dollars first. We’d like to better understand our roles as citizen “customers” of our government public servants.

Maria

On 12/4/2013 3:46 PM, Hanefeld, Linda S – DNR wrote:

Greetings, Maria,

 My responses are included in your text below.

 Linda

From: Maria Powell (MEJO) [mailto:mariapowell@mejo.us] Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 9:27 AM
To: Hanefeld, Linda S – DNR; Schmoller, Michael R – DNR; JHausbeck@publichealthmdc.com; Nehls-Lowe, Henry L – DHS; Walsh, Patrick – LEGIS; Rep.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov; Rummel, Marsha
Subject: Re: followup questions re Kipp

Hello:

Will anyone be able to address the questions below? Please let me know.

Thanks,
Maria

On 11/14/2013 12:25 PM, Maria Powell (MEJO) wrote:

Linda et al:

We have now read through a few more of the Kipp documents released on Nov. 2, and we have some follow-up questions:

-Has Kipp provided the “updated conceptual site model” that DNR asked for by Sept. 30 in the June DNR letter? If so, can we access it? We have been asking for Kipp’s CSM for two years.

Kipp has provided information about their site conceptual model in several documents.  The complete file is available for review at the South Central Regional Headquarters building at 3911 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg.  Please contact Wendy Weihemuller (608-275-3212) to schedule a review time if needed.

-As you know, EPA guidances recommend evaluation of the vapor intrusion pathway at buildings located within 100 feet laterally or vertically from a subsurface VOC source “of potential concern.” Based on the most recent data, does Goodman Center still not meet these criteria?

The Department has answered this question in previous correspondence.   The DNR has concluded that vapor issues for the neighborhood have been adequately investigated/addressed.  Please use the link below to access the document summarizing vapor sampling results for the Kipp neighborhood.

http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/rr/RR931.pdf

-What is the rationale for the location of the water table well on the Goodman property?

To define the extent of groundwater contamination at the water table in that direction.

-What is/are the source(s) of the PCBs on the Waubesa side of Kipp?

The “source” of PCBs is unknown, although DNR believes activities at Kipp have contributed to the PCB contamination there.

-Why is indoor air sampling only being done in the office portions of MKC, and not the rest of the plant?

DNR is determining whether the is the potential for vapor intrusion issues at the facility. The office portion of the facility seems like a logical place to start.

-Has any groundwater testing directly to the south of Kipp been ruled out? If so, on what basis?

 Based on the data collected to date, we feel we know enough about groundwater in that direction.

Also, the June letter asked Kipp to conduct soil sampling for VOCs and PCBs in the raingarden. Yet Arcadis had already tested the raingarden area on 6/21/12, and data from one boring done then was included in the raingarden document released on Nov. 2. Was the DNR not aware of this data when they wrote the June letter? Or is the DNR asking for further testing beyond what was done in June  2012? Please clarify.

The DNR was aware of the June 2012 data.  Additional sampling was required to determine nature/extent of that contamination.

We will probably have more questions once we have read through all the documents in more detail.

If you find you need additional technical assistance, please be aware that there is a $700 fee for any requests for detailed responses similar to those you have been receiving (see chapter NR749, Wisconsin Administrative Code, for more details:  https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/nr/700/749.pdf  ).  DNR has made many documents regarding this case available both on-line at:  http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Brownfields/kipp.html  , and at the local library.  As mentioned above, the complete file can be reviewed by appointment.

Thanks in advance for your responses,

Maria

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