BADGER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT
Near the cities of Baraboo and Sauk City, in south central Wisconsin.
SITE DESCRIPTION (as of dates of TOSC assistance)
Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAAP) is located on 7,354 acres of land in Sauk County, Wisconsin. It is bordered on the north by Devil's Lake State Park, on the east by farmland, State Highway 78, and the Wisconsin River, on the south by farmland, and on the west by U.S. Highway 12. Badger is approximately 7 miles south of Baraboo (pop. 11,500), and 7 miles north of Sauk City/Prairie du Sac (pop. 6,300). A small, unincorporated retirement community with approximately 450 residents is located directly west across Highway 12 from Badger's main gate. On Badger's east side, between Highway 78 and the Wisconsin River, are several unincorporated residential developments with a projected population of 1,000 people when fully developed.
Badger was constructed in 1942 in Sauk County, Wisconsin, near the city of Baraboo. The plant was operated intermittently over a 33-year period to produce single- and double-base propellant for cannon, rocket, and small arms ammunition. Plant operation was terminated in March 1975 and all production facilities and many support functions were placed on standby status, which continued until 1998. Badger is currently inactive and had been maintained on standby since 1976.
The operation of the Badger AAP caused extensive contamination of soils, surface water and groundwater and was under a Federal RCRA Corrective Action order. The cost of the investigation and remediation of the numerous sites was expected to exceed $250 million. Of the 40 contaminated military sites in Wisconsin, the Defense Environmental Restoration Account cites Badger as the most contaminated. 32 areas within the plant grounds were contaminated with solvents, metals and explosive wastes. Groundwater beneath the plant is contaminated with various chemicals, including carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene and dinitrotoluenes. An area known as the Propellant Burning Grounds was the source of a three-mile-long plume of contaminated groundwater that has migrated offsite, contaminating private drinking water wells. Residents requested TOSC assistance concerning the investigation and cleanup proposals (the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study) for a number of Badger AAP areas, including the Propellant Burning Grounds and the Deterrent Burning Grounds.
ORGANIZATION REQUESTING ASSISTANCE
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (BAAP) and the
Badger Environmental Board of Advisers (BEBA Board)
BEGINNING DATE OF ASSISTANCE
ENDING DATE OF ASSISTANCE
SUMMARY OF TOSC ASSISTANCE
In May 1996, Region 5 EPA nominated the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP) for TOSC assistance. During the period May 1996 to October 1997, TOSC personnel worked with the facility's Restoration Advisory Board and a local citizens group, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger. The Board and community members expressed concern over the investigation and remediation of several sites and contamination of area groundwater. At the groups' request, TOSC reviewed site investigation and remediation studies. The review included RI/FS documents for the Deterrent Burning Grounds and Propellant Burning Grounds.
TOSC presented review findings at a community educational meeting in October 1997. The review concluded that the "capture wells" for the Propellant Burning Grounds were misplaced as they were behind the leading edge of the plume of contamination and that the originally-proposed 100-foot-deep excavation for the PBG was excessive given the low concentrations of contaminants at that depth. See press coverage at http://www.merr.com/badger/cleanup/tosc.htm
The Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center, Michigan
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