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Case Summary: Settlement Reached at the Ashland/NSP Lakefront Superfund Site in Wisconsin

On October 19, 2012, the settlement agreement between the federal government, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Northern States Power Wisconsin (NSPW, d/b/a Xcel Energy) was approved by the U.S. District Court of Wisconsin. Under the settlement, NSPW will perform soil and groundwater cleanup at the former NSPW gas plant and Kreher Park for an estimated cost of $40 million.

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Information about the Company

Northern States Power Wisconsin is a utility supplier of electric power and natural gas.

Information about the Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund Site

The Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund site sits on the shore of Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior, in northern Wisconsin. The site is comprised of several properties including those owned by NSPW, Canadian National Railroad and City of Ashland, Wis.. The near-shore portion of the site was formed by the placement of fill consisting of sawdust, wood and wood waste, demolition debris and other waste materials. Ground water underlying the site and an adjacent residential area is contaminated, as is soil at the site. Ten acres of contaminated lake sediment just off-shore is also part of the Superfund site.

A former manufactured gas plant sits atop a bluff, and now houses a system to pump out and treat oil and tar from underlying ground water. Contaminants found in sediment, ground water, soil and a buried ravine include tar, oil and other waste consisting of poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and metals.

Additional information about the site is available from the Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund Site Web page.

Summary of the Consent Decree

NSPW will remove soil from the most contaminated areas of the former NSPW gas plant and Kreher Park. The soil will then be treated on-site and will be re-used after treatment.

To address the groundwater contamination, NSPW will use barriers to contain and stop the movement of contaminants in groundwater, treat the groundwater in-place and add wells to extract and treat groundwater.

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Contact Information

For more information contact:

Craig Melodia
Assistant Regional Counsel
Region 5
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590

David Smith-Watts
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

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