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Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# WIN000508215
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Solvay Coke and Gas site is located at 311 East Greenfield Avenue in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.  The approximately 46-acre site is situated in a primarily industrial and commercial area north of the Kinnickinnic River and west of the Lincoln Memorial Harbor.  The site is comprised of a number of lots on which various industrial activities have occurred on since 1900, perhaps as early as 1866.  A manufactured coke and gas facility was located on the northern portion of the site and was operated by various entities until approximately 1983.  The southernmost triangular tip of the property was occupied by several leather tannery companies starting in about 1884.  Wisconsin Wrecking, LLC operated a scrap and salvage operation on the northern portion of the site until January 2003 when it assigned its interest to Water Street Holdings, LLC.  Water Street Holdings, LLC later conveyed the site to Golden Marina Causeway, LLC.

Site Responsibility

The Solvay Coke and Gas site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties (PRPs) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

In October 2001, U.S. EPA, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and the city of Milwaukee conducted a site reconnaissance to evaluate site conditions to determine potential areas of contamination for sampling.  In December 2001, U.S. EPA conducted a multimedia sampling event at the site to screen for possible contaminants and to identify actual or potential threats to human health and the environment.  U.S EPA issued a Site Assessment Report, dated May 1, 2002, that summarized site conditions, potential threats to the public health or welfare or the environment, and actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances to the environment.  In summary, U.S. EPA found that several types of hazardous substances are located at the site including inorganic compounds (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, iron, mercury), asbestos-containing material (ACM), and organic compounds such as benzene, carbazole, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).  The list of PAHs at the site includes benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene, phenanthrene, pyrene, and other similar organics such as dibenzofuran and naphthalene.

In response to the conditions documented in the Site Assessment Report, U.S. EPA entered into a Removal Order with Cliffs Mining Company, Water Street Holdings, LLC, and Wisconsin Wrecking, LLC, to address four primary sources of hazardous substances: 1) asbestos-containing material present in many of the structures, on piping inside and outside structures, and loose asbestos-containing material located on the ground; 2) coal tar from the manufactured gas plant operations located in tanks, piping, on the ground, and in an open pit area; 3) numerous above ground storage tanks and associated piping containing coal tar and other residues; and 4) other hazardous substances located throughout the site such as drums of naphthalene crystals and oil in old electrical transformers.  The Removal Order did not require the investigation, sampling or excavation and removal of any subsurface hazardous substances or materials.  Surface and subsurface contamination not addressed during the removal action remains and is a source of potential exposure to humans and wildlife.  In addition, runoff from the site could contain contaminated surface soil which could migrate off-site and enter the river at various locations.  On September 6, 2005, U.S. EPA issued a Notice of Completion of On-Site Work for the Removal Order.

Cleanup Progress

After the completion of the work conducted under the Removal Order described above, in January 2007 U.S. EPA entered into an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) with the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) for the conduct of a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site.  The PRPs that voluntarily signed the AOC include American Natural Resources Company, Cliffs Mining Company, Maxus Energy Corporation, and Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas LLC (WE Energies).  Also, East Greenfield Investors, LLC is participating in the agreement as a non-PRP Bonafide Prospective Purchaser.  The PRPs and the East Greenfield Investors, LLC will conduct an RI/FS including a baseline risk assessment and ecological assessment at the site.  The Remedial Investigation which includes soil, groundwater, and sediment sampling is being conducted by the PRPs and began in October 2008. EPA anticipates that it will be completed in 2015.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
owen thompson (thompson.owen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4843



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