“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”


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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20,000 ppm PCBs under Kipp? No Worries ! “Just Ordinary Dirt,” says Kipp CEO

20,000 ppm PCBs under Kipp? No Worries ! “Just Ordinary Dirt,” says Kipp CEO

(Kipp’s CEO, Tony Koblinski, in Kipp’s corporate offices, photo from

In a June 19, 2013 letter to the Wisconsin DNR (first obtained by MEJO in January, 2014), the U.S. EPA stated that it informed Kipp in a meeting on April 10, 2013 (see powerpoint presented at that meeting here) that the PCB levels of up to 20,000 ppm found in soils under the factory are “too high to remain in place” because “unacceptably high exposure levels would exist if institutional controls and/or engineered barriers fail.”

The DNR’s non-industrial residual contact level (RCL) for PCBs—the level above which human contact is considered unsafe— is .222 ppm. In other words, the levels of PCBs found under Kipp are up to nearly 100,000 times above the level considered safe for human contact.  Apparently EPA risk assessors don’t think leaving these PCB-laden soils under the factory is an acceptable option, because if caps or barriers constructed to contain the soils fail, people could be exposed to extremely harmful levels of PCBs.

Soils behind some homes on Waubesa Street, just feet away from the PCB contamination under Kipp, were also contaminated with PCBs  above RCLs. Before there was any public awareness or discussion about this problem, Kipp quietly notified people with contaminated soils behind their homes, and quickly moved to excavate them. Neighbors observed that little to nothing was done to protect residents from PCB dust and runoff during excavation in June.  Getting rid of the evidence as fast as possible, perhaps?

Most appallingly, during excavation—well after Kipp had been notified of the PCB problem by the EPA— Kipp CEO Tony Koblinski had the gall to tell a concerned neighbor that the soil being hauled from people’s yards was “ordinary dirt.” When asked about the PCBs in the soil, he said “you don’t know that” and “I don’t know that.” Unbelievable! Watch it here.

Which brings us to….


As we described in an earlier post— the understaffed and overwhelmed DNR told MEJO they can’t be burdened with further questions from us (and may charge us $700 if we persist in asking them). We turned to, but it didn’t have answers either. So we will turn to you—citizens, the public, anyone out there—for help with our questions.

Any answers to these questions?

What is the source of the PCBs under the Kipp plant and behind the homes on Waubesa Street?

A Kipp consultant report (see page 2) says that there was a road between the Waubesa Street homes and the factory at one time, and implies that perhaps it was coated with PCB oils and that may be the source of PCBs under the plant. If that’s the case, why did Kipp only share first this information in late 2013? Why did the DNR not post the report with this information on the Kipp website until months after it was released, and only after MEJO found it in the DNR files and asked that it be posted (in Dec. 2013)?

Why did DNR tell MEJO on Dec. 4, 2013 that “the source of the PCBs is unknown”—when the Kipp consultant report with the statement about the road was submitted to the DNR on Sept. 30, 2013? Do Kipp and the DNR not want the public to know about this old road? Why not?

When did Kipp first do PCB testing under the factory? How many samples were taken? Where exactly?

What is the range of PCB levels being found beneath the factory? When did the DNR and health agencies first see PCB data from under the factory?

Before being taken away to a landfill, PCB contaminated soils were stored on the north side of the Kipp parking lot for various periods of time. Were signs posted there to keep children away? Did Kipp comply with regulations (NR 714) regarding signage at contaminated sites?

Were adequate barriers placed over/around the piles of contaminated soils to prevent dust from flying up and runoff from going into the storm drains, gutters, and the nearby raingarden (found to be very contaminated with PCBs in 2012)?

Why was there no public meeting to discuss these important PCB results, with serious implications for the neighborhood, the broader community, and the City of Madison?

Why did DNR staff intentionally withhold this information from a journalist who contacted them with questions about the PCB excavations in May 2013?

The DNR told us they are meeting with SASYNA regularly. Have they discussed the PCB levels under the plant with them?  If not, why not? If so, why hasn’t SASYNA shared it more widely with the community?

Were neighbors on Waubesa Street ever notified of high levels of PCBs under the plant feet from their homes—and the future implications they could have for them? (e.g., more digging behind their homes, potential exposures for them and their children, etc.)?

What is the status of the PCB testing under Kipp currently? Will the public ever see the full results?

What is Kipp planning to do about the PCBs under their plant?

What about Kipp’s non-unionized workers? Is anyone assessing their exposures to PCBs and the many other toxic compounds being found in and under the plant? (See upcoming posts)

People out there—any thoughts? Further questions to add? Please send them to


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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, 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….


* 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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Environmental Injustices At Verona Road Continue…

Environmental Injustices At Verona Road Continue…

Steve Glass posted an excellent blog, with photos by David Thompson, about the social and environmental injustices related to the ongoing Verona Road Interchange reconstruction project.

Several years ago, MEJO was asked by people in the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh neighborhoods to help address the potential environmental health impacts from this huge construction project and the air, noise, and water pollution resulting from the increased traffic after the interchange is built. We wrote these comments to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Sadly, the communities’ and MEJO’s questions and concerns about health effects from this project were largely dismissed by WisDOT and other local and state agencies. See our 2010 commentary here.

Now, several years later, Mr. Glass’s blog reveals that environmental justice in this already very challenged and underserved neighborhood continues to be a low priority here in Madison. Apparently even the most basic steps to control runoff and toxic air particulates from construction aren’t being implemented, and it seems local and state authorities responsible for enforcing construction runoff regulations are looking the other way.

This is sad. If this pollution was happening in a privileged Madison neighborhood, would it be ignored? We suspect not.


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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 ——–


Re: followup questions re Kipp


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


Maria Powell (MEJO) <>


Hanefeld, Linda S – DNR <>, Schmoller, Michael R – DNR <>, <>, Nehls-Lowe, Henry L – DHS <>, Walsh, Patrick – LEGIS <>, <>, Rummel, Marsha <>


Weihemuller, Wendy – DNR <>, Giesfeldt, Mark F – DNR <>, Aquino, Mark D – DNR <>, Miller, Mark <>,


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.


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

Greetings, Maria,

 My responses are included in your text below.


From: Maria Powell (MEJO) [] Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 9:27 AM
To: Hanefeld, Linda S – DNR; Schmoller, Michael R – DNR;; Nehls-Lowe, Henry L – DHS; Walsh, Patrick – LEGIS;; Rummel, Marsha
Subject: Re: followup questions re Kipp


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


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.

-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:  ).  DNR has made many documents regarding this case available both on-line at:  , and at the local library.  As mentioned above, the complete file can be reviewed by appointment.

Thanks in advance for your responses,


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