Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:


Cleanup Activities

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The 4-acre Wisconsin Public Service Corp. site is located in Manitowoc, Wis.  Currently, the majority of the site is occupied by actively used commercial buildings and asphalt parking lots. Residential, commercial and industrial-use properties are found in the vicinity. The Manitowoc River borders the site on the northwest.

WPSC owned and operated a gas plant from before 1900 to the late 1940s in an area that was historically industrial. Processes included coal carbonization and carbureted water gas. WPSC still owns the site today.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Various investigations and cleanups took place from 1988 to 1994 under Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources oversight. This includes the excavation, removal and in-place treatment of highly contaminated soil between the WPSC building and Manitowoc River. Routine groundwater monitoring occurs annually.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA signed a document called the record of decision (PDF) (66 pp, 6.6MB, About PDF) in September 2018 that details a final cleanup plan for source area contamination in soil and groundwater.

The cleanup includes:

  • Stabilizing soil in place.
  • Maintaining existing barriers.
  • Installing new barriers over contaminated soil.
  • Treating contaminated groundwater using a technology called chemical oxidation.
  • Monitoring groundwater.
  • Placing restrictions on soil and groundwater use to minimize exposure.                                                                 

The estimated cost is $7.2 million.

This plan is based on the findings of several technical and financial studies, paid for by WPSC, that helped identify the type and extent of contamination and evaluate several cleanup options.

WPSC funded and conducted all of the work so far under EPA oversight. 

WPSC will collect additional groundwater information after implementing this cleanup to determine the remaining risks resulting from groundwater outside of the source area. Final groundwater and river sediment cleanups will be selected at later dates.  

The record of decision and other site-related documents are available in the administrative record on this web page and at the Manitowoc Public Library.

Plans to investigate sediment, groundwater and soil at six MGP sites began after a legal agreement called a consent order was signed between WPSC and EPA in May 2006. This agreement allowed for further investigation to determine how much contamination remains at the Manitowoc site.

The 2006 agreement also includes five other MGP sites in Green BayStevens PointMarinetteOshkosh, and Two Rivers, Wisconsin. A separate agreement for another site, WPSC Campmarina MGP in Sheboygan, was signed between WPSC and EPA in January 2007.

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