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Burnham Canal Site

Site Information
  • Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee County)
  • EPA ID# WIN000510222

  • Alias(es): Miller Compressing Company (MCC)
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163

Remedial Project Manager
Nefertiti DiCosmo
312-886-6148 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66148


(where to view written records)

Forest Home Library
1432 W. Forest Home Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204-3228


Centro de la Comunidad Unida / United Community Center
1028 S. 9th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone: 414-384-3100


In 2008, Miller Compressing Company entered into a formal agreement with EPA to study the Burnham Canal site under EPA's Superfund Alternative Sites Program. The Superfund Alternative Sites Program takes sites that might otherwise be eligible for the National Priorities List, but which will be investigated and cleaned up by a cooperative responsible party (in this case Miller Compressing Company), without formally listing the site on the National Priorities List. Miller Compressing Company and EPA, in consultation with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the City of Milwaukee and area residents, will determine the extent of contamination on the site as well as final cleanup remedies.

The Burnham Canal used to be a federally authorized navigation channel. The site is bounded on the west by S. Muskego Avenue, on the east by S. 11th Street, on the south by Bruce Street and on the north by a rail yard. The site is located 0.4 miles south of the Menomonee River.

Miller Compressing Company currently operates a recycling facility on the site for iron and non-iron metals. Sediment in the Burnham Canal shows high levels of metals (copper, lead, cadmium, nickel, silver and zinc) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, or compounds commonly found in motor oils). A wire reclamation furnace, approximately 100 feet west of the canal, which has contributed to the contamination in the area, was used from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s for copper wire recycling. Miller Compressing Company has volunteered to address contamination from its facilities in the Canal.

Site Updates | News Releases | Fact Sheets || Technical Documents || Legal Agreements || Public Meetings

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Site Updates

October 2012

The EPA continues to work with Miller Compressing Company on a remedial design following EPA’s approval last year of the plan for cleaning up contaminated sediment (mud) and soil at the west end of the Burnham Canal Superfund site.  Work on the remedial design is expected to continue through the next six months.

September 2011

The EPA recently approved a Record of Decision which outlines EPA’s plan for cleaning up contaminated sediment (mud) and soil at the west end of the Burnham Canal Superfund site.

EPA’s final plan includes:

The cleanup will protect people and the environment, provide long-term effectiveness, and comply with state and federal environmental regulations. It can be implemented and is cost-effective. The estimated cost is $2.3 million.

Copies of the reports, proposed plan and other site-related documents are available for review at the Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave., and the United Community Center. The Record of Decision (PDF) (54pp, 1.1MB) is also available here.

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