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Environmental Justice Issue at Lowell Elementary School
PCE contamination at Lowell School?
Kipp's PCE plume on its way to drinking water well and Lake Monona
At the May 28 Madison Water Utility Board meeting, staff reported the following (from the minutes):
Madison Kipp Corporation/UW #8 Sentinel Well:
"Groundwater at the Madison-Kipp Corporation (MKC) facility continues to be monitored for VOCs. A new monitoring well (MW-25) was recently installed at the intersection of Ludington Avenue and Center Avenue, approximately 600 feet northwest of Unit Well 8. Preliminary sampling indicates low levels (1.6 ug-3.3 ug/l) of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) exist at a depth of 100-130 feet below the surface here. It appears that the edge of the PCE plume has reached this location. Conformational sampling has been conducted at this location and the pending result will be used to verify the presence and concentration of this compound. The installation of the sentinel well, proposed to be installed adjacent to Elmside Circle Park, remains on hold."
In other words, the Kipp contaminant plume is under [and past] Lowell School. The phrase "the edge of the PCE plume has reached this location" implies that PCE just go there, but it is very likely the plume reached past Lowell School years ago [hence various breakdown products of PCE present in Well 8, which is past the school in Olbrich Park at the shore of Lake Monona.
Has the Madison Metropolitan School District been informed? Have the parents and students?
The state DNR and state and city-county public health agencies should be quickly assessing the extent of the plume and begin testing at the school to determine if the children and teachers are being exposed to PCE.
Kipp should also pay for additional monitoring wells in the direction of Olbrich Park to determine the extent of its PCE plume in that direction. Who knows how many other houses have PCE under them?
Ignorance is Bliss (Series Supplement)
Remember the Kipp Dioxin Debacle?
Lo and Behold, Kipp Has Been Producing Dioxins All This Time! (shhhh…..)
Dioxin from Kipp's Stacks? An “Urban Myth” of “Misinformed Activists”!
The issue of whether or not Kipp produced dioxins was a focal point of citizen activism around Kipp for years (see previous article). Throughout the 1990s, many citizens in the Kipp neighborhood asserted that dioxins were produced by the factory, but Kipp denied the possibility that the factory could produce them. In 2000, citizens formed a group called Clean Air Madison (CAM), which organized meetings, wrote letters and press releases, and held protests about Kipp’s air pollution. Read more here
Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs)
Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Read more here: Ignorance is Bliss (Series Supplement)
New Data Maps Show Widespread Kipp Pollution
New Maps Show Alarming & Widespread Groundwater Contamination Around Kipp
Using just-released data at the Madison-Kipp 101- year old industrial site and surrounding neighborhood, Dr. Lorne G. Everett has produced new maps that illustrate the probable range of Kipp’s groundwater pollution. The maps show much more widespread volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination than the DNR previously believed existed at the site. The VOCs found in the groundwater include PCE, TCE, cis-1,2,-DCE and vinyl chloride. The new data suggest groundwater pollution goes well beyond Kipp’s property into the surrounding Atwood neighborhood, as far as Circle Park and Wirth Court Park. This new data suggest that more remediation will be necessary in a far larger area.
Dr. Everett is a retired “scholar of great distinction” at University of California at Santa Barbara. He is an internationally recognized expert who has conducted extensive research on subsurface characterization and remediation. He is Chairman of the ASTM Task Committee on Groundwater and Vadose Zone Monitoring. [Full Everett resume]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—March 25, 2013
"Shocking" Levels of Contaminants Found at Madison-Kipp in Recent Tests
Recent tests at Madison-Kipp Corporation reveal “shocking” levels of PCEs in groundwater beneath the factory and offsite, according to Dr. Lorne G. Everett, an international hydrogeology expert and key witness in the RCRA civil lawsuit brought by neighbors against Kipp. Everett, who has worked with hundreds of contaminated sites worldwide, concluded that Madison-Kipp is “one of the most contaminated sites that I’ve ever worked with.”
In his deposition for the case, Dr. Everett also shared grave concerns about high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) recently found, stressing that PCBs pose the highest risk of all the compounds tested at Kipp to date. Soil samples just a few feet under Kipp, for instance, had PCB levels as high as 10,000 and 20,000 mg/kg—many thousands of times above U.S. EPA industrial direct contact levels. PCBs were also found at levels well above enforcement standards in some groundwater wells under the plant. “Madison-Kipp will have a deed restriction on their property forever…there is going to be a high source of a very toxic material at this facility forever,” Dr. Everett predicts, because PCBs are extremely difficult to remediate. (Everett Dep. 46)
Dr. Everett’s strong statements about the seriousness of Kipp’s pollution’s effects on Kipp workers and neighbors, as well as the surrounding community, follow from his December Kipp report—and parallel concerns raised by MEJO and Clean Air Madison (CAM) for many years.
Further, these shocking new findings, from monitoring wells tests by Kipp’s consultant ARCADIS, reiterate questions about the actions—or lack thereof—of the government agencies we rely on to protect public and environmental health. “Why did Madison, Dane County and Wisconsin government agencies not act on these serious contamination issues many years ago?” asks Dr. Maria Powell, MEJO President. “Extremely high levels of chlorinated compounds, including PCE and its breakdown products TCE and vinyl chloride, have been documented in soils and groundwater under the Kipp site since 1994, yet agencies have only begun taking strong actions to monitor and remediate this pollution in the last year, after being prompted by the lawsuit.”
Also, Dr. Powell notes, “MEJO forced Kipp’s groundwater contamination issues into the public arena in early 2011 after they were kept quiet by Kipp and our government for over a decade.” Early that year, MEJO researchers obtained Kipp groundwater reports from the DNR, shared them with the neighborhood, and contacted media, elected officials, and government agencies. News stories in local papers and television stations followed.
Yet public agency officials repeatedly discounted most of MEJO’s questions about the extremely high levels of groundwater contaminants found under Kipp. In early February 2012, MEJO representatives met with city, county, and state agency officials to discuss our questions about the Kipp situation. “Among other things, we asked why a conceptual site model had never been developed for the Kipp site, and whether PCBs and dioxins (which are known to be emitted from Kipp’s stacks) had been tested in Kipp’s soils and groundwater.”
“Agency representatives didn’t feel that testing for these compounds was merited nor did they think it was possible for PCBs to get into groundwater,” Powell recalls. “They didn’t seem aware of the use of PCBs at Kipp, though it was documented in DNR files dating back to the 1980s.”
Just a few weeks after this meeting, in March 2012, PCBs were found in soils at Kipp.
As recently as summer 2012, even the Madison Water Utility repeatedly discounted citizens’ concerns about Kipp contaminants getting into Well 8; in the summer of 2012, the utility decided to pump the well full-time because of the severe drought—despite calls from the SASY Neighborhood Association that it be turned off completely to prevent drawing in Kipp contaminants more quickly.
New data from wells off the Kipp property show that City of Madison Engineering maps of the contaminant plumes have greatly underestimated the depth and size of the plume. A new well on the north side of Goodman Community Center, for example, shows 3,600 ug/L of PCE, while the city engineering map predicted levels of 5 ug/L. Injection wells and other methods to control the plume, Dr. Everett says, will have to be done far to the north of Kipp, which will be “expensive and very controversial.” (Everett Dep. 55)
Notably, Dr. Everett also raised serious concerns about the people who have been perhaps most at risk for decades—Kipp workers. MEJO and other citizens have raised questions about the Kipp workers many times over the years, but have been assured by Kipp representatives that their workers are very healthy, though no legitimate exposure assessments or health studies have ever been done. To date, local and state government agencies have been largely silent on the risks to Kipp workers, who are not unionized. “Over a year ago when the Kipp contamination went public, I contacted the Wisconsin OSHA Consultation Program to see if they had assessed worker exposures,” said Dr. Powell. “I never received a response.”
Everett was scathing in his review of analyses done to date by ARCADIS, Kipp’s consultants, which largely downplay or discount risks to the people living right next to Kipp. “To conclude that there’s no risk to the immediate neighbors to this facility is unconscionable.”
Immediate neighbors of Madison-Kipp aren’t the only ones who will pay for Madison-Kipp’s pollution and government agencies’ inaction. “I think this groundwater resource is damaged for the foreseeable future,” says Dr. Everett. (Everett Dep. 57) “And who will pay for this? All Madison citizens,” notes Powell.
Dr. Lorne G. Everett Deposition: http://cleanairmadison.org/rcra/188%20-%20Deposition%20of%20Lorne%20Everett.22march13.pdf
Ignorance is Bliss (Part 3 )
Toxic Contaminants at Madison-Kipp? Don’t Worry, There’s No Risk!
Overview: Toxic Contaminants From Above and Below
The U.S. EPA Notice of Violation that Madison-Kipp Corporation (Kipp) received in September 2012 raises many questions about the factory’s ongoing toxic air emissions and health effects among people living, playing, working, and going to school near Kipp—especially kids, elderly, ill, and other vulnerable people in the neighborhood. Lowell School, with an over 50% poverty rate, and Goodman Community Center, which serves many minority and low-income children, are right next to the factory. Knowing what’s really coming out of Kipp’s air stacks is more important than ever given what’s now known about the toxic brew of chemicals that has been spreading in soils and groundwater beneath the plant and seeping into neighborhood homes and buildings for decades. People in the Kipp neighborhood are exposed to numerous toxic chemicals from below and above—not just one chemical at a time. How is this affecting people’s health in the neighborhood? Nobody knows…
The recent EPA notice cited Kipp for inaccurate calculations and shoddy (or absent) record-keeping that could underestimate or hide emissions of hazardous air pollutants, especially chlorine, hydrogen chloride, and other highly toxic chlorinated compounds such as dioxin. EPA also cited Kipp for questionable practices inside the factory that could increase their emissions of toxic compounds. Yet this is nothing new. Kipp has shoddily reported, or failed to report, its toxic emissions for decades, making it next to impossible to assess what people in the neighborhood are exposed to day after day. Over the years, former Kipp workers and government employees have reported sloppy and unsafe practices inside the factory—including ongoing spills, broken and leaky storage containers, and the burning of dirty scrap in aluminum furnaces (a practice known to produce dioxin). The company has had numerous fires, accidents, and OSHA violations.
Meanwhile, for decades hundreds of citizens in the Kipp neighborhood have complained of toxic fumes and noise at Kipp, and raised questions about emissions of harmful chlorinated compounds such as dioxin. Countless health complaints and letters have been submitted to government agencies by citizens, including many asking for more thorough air monitoring and health studies. Hundreds of citizens have packed public meetings on Kipp.
Though a few government agency representatives have expressed some concern and taken some actions regarding Kipp’s pollution throughout all these years, for the most part public officials and agency representatives seem to be more interested in defending Kipp and assuring citizens that the factory poses low or no risks, even when abundant evidence exists to the contrary. Several health studies have been considered by public health agencies, but were dropped.
In 2013, decades after citizens first started raising questions about Kipp emissions—and in the midst of citizen lawsuits and EPA violations against the company—we still don’t really know how much dioxin and other hazardous pollutants are spewing out of the factory’s many stacks and pipes. Nobody knows exactly how deep and wide the plume of toxic contaminant the originated on the Kipp property decades ago is, even though that information is essential for assessing exposures and risks to people living around Kipp—and to the environment in Madison. Why not? And why do our government agencies seem more interested in serving and protecting Kipp, and other polluting industries, than in protecting the citizens they are paid to serve?
Parts 3 and 4 in this series focus on citizens’ struggles to address the factory’s pollution—and how Kipp and local and state government agencies have responded to citizens. Part 3 focuses on the period roughly between 1990 through the early 2000s, and Part 4, which will follow in coming weeks, will cover the early 2000s to the present.
Ignorance is Bliss (Part 3 )
Dumb Meter Update _________________________________________________________
Madsion's Smart Meter Fight in the News
As national concerns multiply about the dumb idea called "smart meters," see what USA TODAY has to say about Madison citizens efforts to get its public water utility to "get smart." MEJO President Maria Powell is quoted, "The whole premise that people are going to go online and look at their water usage day to day, it's baloney. Most people aren't going to do that." The article came our February 15th, with the title, "Foes fight the tide of 'smart' water meters."
Ignorance is Bliss (Part 2 Cont.)
A Note about the Industrial History of the Goodman and Kipp sites
According to Goodman's 2008 closure documents, previous manufacturing activities at the Goodman Community Center property included metal cutting, welding, machining, sandblasting, and painting. Several underground and aboveground storage tanks for heating oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline, and lead battery storage, were located on the property. A railroad spur was located underneath the crane gantry. Soils on the Goodman Community Center site were tested numerous times as the property changed hands.
Not surprisingly, given the site's past industrial uses, these tests showed several toxic metals (including arsenic and lead) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at levels orders of magnitude above the DNR's residual contaminant level (RCL) standards for human contact. In one area lead in soil was 12,600 parts per million (ppm); soils in other areas had lead levels in the several hundreds and/or thousands of parts per million. The RCL for lead in soil is 50 ppm. Past testing showed that some soils and groundwater at Goodman also had elevated tetrachloroethylene (PCE) levels. Closure documents suggest that PCE in groundwater there is from Madison-Kipp Corporation; however, MEJO’s investigations indicate that past industries at Goodman may have also used PCE.
Most of the surface soils at the Goodman site were removed and/or capped before the site was developed, as the October 2012 article below describes. Goodman closure documents state that “contaminated soil at the site was removed to a depth to allow at least 1 foot of impervious paving materials or 2 feet of landscaping materials.” Soils were not removed or capped at all in the area where the compost pile and chicken coops are currently (see Oct. 2012 article below). This area was highly contaminated with lead, arsenic, and PAHs.
The last time Goodman soils were tested was in 2007, before the site was remediated and re-developed. No testing was done after remediation excavation. DNR laws requiring testing of soils excavated on remediated sites are intended to assure that there is no remaining contamination and/or that no new contamination has been deposited since the last testing. Hopefully, given that children play on this property, and some food is grown there, little residual contamination remains. But wouldn’t it be best to be sure—in other words, to follow the laws requiring testing when excavating—than to just assume things are OK without any testing?
Of course, soils and groundwater at the adjacent Madison-Kipp Corp. property—only a few feet away from the Goodman Center property—are known to be highly contaminated with PCE, PCBs, several toxic metals, and numerous other contaminants. Kipp's many air stacks emit chlorine, hydrogen chloride, dioxins, metals, volatile organic compounds, fine particulates, and more; these air pollutants are inhaled by people living and playing nearby, and deposit on soils surrounding the plant (including at Goodman). Goodman leaders knew about Kipp’s air emissions when they developed the center, but decided this pollution was not a significant concern for kids who use the center.
Did the DNR let the then community center leaders know about the spreading contaminant plume they had been documenting beneath Kipp (since 1994) when they purchased the property for the Goodman Center development? And, given everything that has happened since the site was developed, why isn't the DNR demanding that Kipp test further to the north to see if the plume has traveled beneath the Goodman site? Why aren’t Goodman leaders asking DNR and Kipp to test to assure that the contaminant plume isn’t under their center—and vapors from this plume aren’t being released into the building?
MEJO’s investigations to date suggest that Madison-Kipp Corp. may be pressuring the DNR not to test too far to the north towards the Goodman property. Why? Is the DNR bowing to pressure from Kipp instead of doing the right thing and testing to make sure kids and others at Goodman are not exposed to toxic chemicals?
Reponses and comments can be sent to info <at> mejo.us
NEXT IN SERIES: What about Kipp’s air pollution?
While the recent public focus has been on Kipp’s soil and groundwater contamination, there are just as many unanswered questions about how the substantial air pollution from Kipp’s facilities might affect vulnerable groups in the neighborhood—and everyone living and working nearby. Kipp’s air stacks emit fine particulate matter, several chlorinated compounds (including dioxin), heavy metals, and numerous other pollutants into the air around these facilities every day. Minority and low-income children at Lowell School and the Goodman Center are already at higher risk for asthma and respiratory problems, so they are even more vulnerable to exposure to these air contaminants.
Addressing questions about how Kipp Corporations’ air pollution affects people in the neighborhood is particularly relevant now, since Kipp just received a “Notice of Violation” on Sept. 4, 2012 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with implications related to their emissions of hazardous air pollutants, especially chlorinated compounds.
Ignorance is Bliss (Part 2)
Forgot to follow Wisconsin pollution laws?
No worries, DNR doesn’t mind
In a previous article (below and here), MEJO explored whether the Goodman Community Center, built on a contaminated former industrial site, followed DNR statutory requirements they agreed to follow when excavating on the site after remediation. The DNR confirmed in Januray 2013 that the Goodman Center did not follow relevant laws. Will the DNR cite them for ignoring these laws? No. Apparently, following DNR laws is optional.
To recap: According to an Oct. 24, 2008 letter from the DNR, when doing any excavation on contaminated areas that have been capped—which includes most of the site—Goodman Center owners are required by DNR statutes to:
Sample and analyze excavated material to determine if residual contamination remains (or assume that it is contaminated and manage it accordingly)
If sampling confirms that contamination is present the property owner, determine whether the material would be considered solid or hazardous waste
Assure the all current and future owners and occupants of the property are aware that excavation of contaminated soil may pose an inhalation or other direct contact hazard and take special precautions during excavation activities to prevent health threats to humans
Keep an up-to-date maintenance plan and inspection log on-site regarding the contamination cap and/or barrier and make it available to all interested parties
Worker (in hard hat, bending over) working below grade at Goodman Center (October 2012)
Under "Prohibited Activities," the 2008 DNR letter states that the following activities require prior written approval from the DNR:
Removal of the existing barrier;
Replacement with another barrier;
Excavating or grading of the land surface;
Filling on capped or paved areas;
Plowing for agricultural cultivation; or
Construction or placement of a building or other structure.
In 2008, when the Goodman Center property purchase was finalized, Goodman leaders signed documents agreeing to follow these laws, intended to protect people at and near the center from exposures to contaminants. MEJO’s review of DNR files revealed no documentation that they have followed these requirements for any of the several projects done on the property since 2008, including some excavations in fall 2012. Did they sign these closure agreements just for show?
Dumpster full of soil excavated from the Goodman site. Where did it go? Was it contaminated? Should it go to an hazarsous landfill? We'll never know. (October 2012)
After numerous inquiries from MEJO, the DNR site manager for the Goodman site finally confirmed this month that Goodman Center leaders did not notify him prior to the start of their September 2012 excavation projects (nor earlier excavation projects, presumably, since there were no documents for those either). The Goodman executive director talked to the DNR about the statutes they are required to follow—but not till two months after the projects were completed and MEJO asked several times to see the required documents (which neither Goodman nor the DNR were able to produce). By that point, the soil had been hauled away to landfills without required contaminant testing. Clearly the DNR did not review any soil testing results nor issue approval letters before these projects were initiated, as the law requires.
Will the Goodman Center be cited—or reprimanded in any way—for violating DNR laws it agreed to follow? No. The DNR site manager assured us that everything was fine because “Based on our discussion the work crews who did the excavation were familiar with the site conditions and knew of the contaminated soil and the restrictions associated with managing the soils.” Moreover, the site manager concluded, he does “not consider this a significant issue, particularly since the work || crew knew they could potentially encounter contaminated material and the site had a cap that needed to be restored.”
Maybe these workers “knew of the contaminated soil and the restrictions associated with managing the soils.” Maybe not. We’ll never know. However, if they did know of these statutory restrictions, why didn’t they follow them? And, isn’t it Goodman Center’s responsibility—not the workers’ responsibility—to make sure relevant DNR laws for the site are followed?
| | Workers excavating and sweeping up afterwards. Did they know they were digging up contaminated soil? We hope so...| |
We hope these workers did in fact know they might encounter contaminated material, especially since one of the areas excavated was where the highest levels of PCE were found on the site during pre-closure testing. Clouds of dust were visible as workers excavated and swept up the site. But without testing the soil first, as legally required, how could they know whether or not the soil they were digging and breathing was contaminated and at what levels?
Further, contaminated site requirements are about much more than protecting the workers excavating the soil for relatively brief periods of time. What about center employees, café customers and, most importantly, the children using the center—especially those children playing 50 feet or less away from the excavation? Apparently, neither DNR nor the Goodman Center is concerned that there was no testing of the soil before excavation and disposal, and that no information was provided to employees, customers or users. The DNR does not mind that the Center did not take required precautions to prevent contaminant exposures to children and others.
It seems, sadly, that despite statutes intended to protect the environment and public health, in practice, responsible parties such as Goodman Center (and the large polluting industry next door, Madison-Kipp Corp.) can ignore these laws and DNR project managers have wide discretionary powers on whether or not to enforce violations.
Some may argue that the infraction at Goodman Community Center, a relatively small contaminated site, is inconsequential. We strongly disagree. Wisconsin DNR laws for contaminated and remediated sites such as the Goodman Center are intended to prevent unintentional and potentially harmful exposures to toxins among people at and near these sites—especially the most vulnerable people. Preventing such exposures is especially important at Goodman Center, which serves many low income children, children of color, and the elderly, and is surrounded by schools, daycare providers, and a neighborhood with many children and seniors.
Because Goodman Center leaders did not follow laws they agreed to follow when they built the center, we do not know whether the soil excavated from the center’s property (which likely reflects levels of contamination in soil that is still there now) was contaminated, or to what degree. We do not know if contaminated dust from the excavations settled on gardens and compost piles at the center. We do not know whether Goodman Center employees, people in the Ironworks Café, or children playing a few feet away inhaled contaminated dust as workers excavated soil—or what they will be exposed to over the longer-term as this dust is disturbed and re-circulated into air and onto surfaces.
Food pantry bread and produce out during adjacent excavation--free for the taking (October 2012)
Last but not least, this unfortunate situation poses broader questions. If Goodman Center andMadison-Kipp Corporation can blatantly ignore DNR laws and get away with it, how many other industries in Madison and throughout Wisconsin are allowed to as well? How many laws is Kraft Oscar Mayer ignoring? Madison Gas and Electric? When global corporations dig new mines in northern Wisconsin, will they violate or ignore DNR laws? If they do, can we really trust the Wisconsin DNR to do anything about it?
 If this project was intended to “restore the cap,” this is the first we’ve been told that, even though we asked numerous questions related to this for months prior to this statement. If it true that this project was intended in part to restore the contaminant cap, this poses further questions. If the cap was broken--how long was it broken, and did damage to the cap increase potential exposures to children and others near that area? Why didn’t the DNR or Goodman Center provide copies of the Maintenance Plan they are required to keep on-site and up-to-date “in order to maintain the integrity of the paved surfaces, landscaped areas and/or the building?” (Contaminated Soil Cap Maintenance Plan, Goodman Community Center, October 2008).
 DNR officials were not able to point to any legal documents explicitly allowing the use of such discretion in this case—or any guidelines for discretion regarding excavation at remediated sites (e.g., amounts of soil excavated below which requirements do not need to be followed).
 Goodman’s closure documents state that some chlorinated contaminants (e.g., PCE) beneath the Goodman property are from Madison-Kipp Corp. Perhaps this is why the DNR does not measure soils and vapors at the center despite its close proximity to Kipp? Perhaps Madison-Kipp does not want anyone to open that can of worms?
Ignorance is Bliss (Part 1)
Environmental Justice Issues at Madison-Kipp and Goodman Community Center Ignored
The east side of Madison, Wisconsin, is not a place most people would expect to have environmental justice problems. Toxic pollution, many assume, affects children, elderly, low income people and minorities in heavily industrialized, economically and racially segregated cities like Milwaukee. But such disparities don’t happen in “eco-friendly,” privileged and predominantly white cities like Madison—right?
Wrong. In the heart of Madison’s Atwood neighborhood, a neighborhood known for its liberal politics and progressive environmental culture, serious environmental injustices have been festering for many years, and the powers-that-be seem to be looking the other way. Why?
Madison Kipp Corporation
First, some background. The recent citizen lawsuit brought against Madison Kipp Corporation, an aluminum and zinc die-casting facility in the Atwood neighborhood, is bringing much-needed public and political attention to the decades of toxic pollution from this factory and the plights of the unfortunate homeowners next to it. Several toxic chemicals released from Kipp over decades, including PCE (perchloroethylene), have spread into soils and groundwater around and beneath homes near the factory, and some of these chemicals are coming up into the homes as vapors. Yet the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC), quietly documented high levels of contaminants just feet away from homes for many years and said nothing to nearby homeowners—or downplayed the problem to the few they did notify—until it became too big to ignore.
“These homeowners certainly deserve compensation for their long-term exposures to toxic chemicals and lowered home values” notes Maria Powell, leader and community-based researcher with the Midwest Environmental Justice Organization (MEJO). “I hope the lawsuit results in adequate monetary compensation for these people—though nothing can really compensate them for future health problems that might result from their exposures, and the stress this situation has caused them.”
What about vulnerable people near Kipp?
Oddly, despite attention the lawsuit has brought to Kipp Corporation’s pollution, there has been a disturbing silence about impacts of the factory’s ongoing air, soil, and water pollution on children at Goodman Community Center, right next to Kipp, and at Lowell School, about a half a block away. There are also several daycare providers and parks in the neighborhood. The Goodman Center serves many low-income minority kids in its pre-school and afterschool programs, facilitates food service training programs for teens, and also organizes programs for seniors. Lowell grade school has a 50% poverty rate, and a growing number of African American, Hmong, and Latino students attend the school.
Yet even with the recent heightened public attention to Kipp’s pollution, prompted by the citizen lawsuit, no local or state government agencies have ever monitored air or soils to see if children at Goodman Center, Lowell School, or daycare facilities near Kipp are being exposed to harmful levels of Kipp contaminants—though MEJO, Clean Air Madison (CAM), and some Kipp neighbors have asked for such testing for many years. “Everybody knows these facilities are right next to Kipp, and everyone knows they serve children, including a high proportion of low income kids of color. Why has nobody in environmental or public health agencies ever bothered to assess what these kids are being exposed to—or to even ask these questions?”
When MEJO leaders and neighbors asked why they haven’t tested at Goodman Center after the PCE contamination was made public in 2011, DNR project manager for the Kipp site, Michael Schmoller, said his “gut feelings” tell him there are no problems at Goodman. “This approach is not only highly unscientific—it’s also unethical,” Powell says. “When dealing with potential health risks to kids, they should get actual data to identify or rule out exposures, not rely on “gut feelings.”
Meanwhile, there have been obvious instances in which kids were directly exposed to Kipp contaminants. In 2006, for example, Whitehorse Middle School kids and teachers created a large rain garden at the end of a storm drain on the northeast corner of the Kipp Corporation property.  At that point, Kipp consultant reports submitted to the DNR in the 1990s clearly documented a storm drain leading from the Kipp factory directly to the rain garden area; the drain was the receptacle of decades of factory runoff heavily contaminated with PCE, vinyl chloride, and myriad other toxic contaminants. Barrels of highly toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were stored nearby, and used on the site for many years, according to documents dating back to the 1980s. In late 2011, in DNR investigations spurred by the lawsuit, the northeast part of the Kipp property where the rain garden is located was found to be a PCE hotspot, and in spring 2012 PCBs were also discovered in soils near there. DNR officials acted surprised by these findings, and the department issued Kipp a “Notice of Violation,” yet reports in their files clearly pointed to these problems years before the rain garden was created.
“I find it unconscionable that Kipp, several government agencies, and neighborhood groups enthusiastically funded and organized a project in which these kids and their teachers dug up that soil—without at the very least testing for contamination first. These kids had no gloves or other protective gear, nor were they informed that they were digging up contaminated soil. And, why would anyone decide that a rain garden is an appropriate way to deal with heavily contaminated runoff from an aluminum and zinc smelter with known serious contamination problems in the first place?” Powell asks.
Goodman Community Center Contamination
The Goodman Center site, just a hundred feet or so north of the Kipp factory, housed several industrial and manufacturing facilities, beginning in 1880, that performed metal cutting, welding, machining, sandblasting, and painting. When the Goodman site was purchased in 2005 by the Atwood Community Center (which later changed its name to Goodman ), testing showed that soils on the property were widely contaminated with numerous toxic contaminants, including heavy metals (especially arsenic and lead), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and several chlorinated compounds, including PCEs. Documents state that the chlorinated compounds found in groundwater beneath the site came from Kipp.  Contaminated soils were partially removed on most of the property and replaced with clean soil and/or “capped” (in part, by buildings, walkways and parking lots) before the center was approved for closure by the DNR in 2008. At that time, a signed “Contaminated Soil Cap Maintenance Plan” required the center to follow certain steps and notify the DNR before doing any maintenance or construction projects on the site, to prevent contamination from being re-released. MEJO’s investigations so far, however, have found no evidence that Goodman Center is following this agreement. [See sidebar]
Goodman Center closure reports also document PCB contamination in some walls, floors, and beams throughout the inside of the center’s main building. Identified PCB-laden materials were cleaned thoroughly and/or covered with non-contaminated materials. Powell notes, however, “Over time, PCBs could be re-released, for example, during maintenance, cleaning and remodeling, leading to exposures to kids or workers there. Hopefully someone is testing to make sure PCBs are not being re-released, and kids or others at the center are not being exposed.” Further, PCB testing was not very thorough, so it is not clear how widespread the contamination is in or around the building.
| | Current excavation at the Goodman Community Center (October 2012) | |
According to MEJO’s investigations, teenagers and young adults working in Ironworks Café and/or in other Goodman educational programs have not been informed of any contaminants in the center buildings or elsewhere on the site. Regardless, several workers shared concerns about pollution from Kipp, which is about 100 feet away from the café, and easily visible from the café windows. One employee mentioned hearing explosions and sirens in the factory on occasion, and Kipp employees are sometimes seen wrapping barrels of waste and loading them into trucks. On the driveway between Kipp and the Ironworks Café, trucks and other vehicles containing fuel, highly toxic chlorine, environmental waste, and remediation equipment frequently rumble by café windows.
Another café worker wondered about whether Kipp groundwater contaminant vapors that have seeped under the Goodman building are coming up through the drains in the café floor—and whether his frequent feelings of nausea and headaches in the café could be related to that or to pollution from Kipp’s several large stacks, just a few hundred feet away. Goodman workers also expressed concern about the compost pile on the corner of the property just across from the Kipp rain garden, used to fertilize raised bed gardens on the center’s property, which supply some food to the Ironworks Cafe.
MEJO’s investigations suggest that Goodman workers may have reason to be concerned. Though soil on much of the Goodman site was removed or partially removed, soil in the area where the compost pile and chicken coops are located was not removed or remediated. Consultant documents from 2005 show that this area was contaminated with several heavy metals, including arsenic and lead, as well as PAHs.
Moreover, the PCE hotspot found in late 2011 near the rain garden on the Kipp property is just across the bike path from the compost pile. Hazardous air pollutants released from several large Kipp stacks are also likely deposited onto the compost. Given this, Powell wonders if anyone has ever tested the compost to make sure it’s safe to put on food gardens. “Given the historic lack of concern about contaminant exposures to vulnerable people near Kipp” she speculates, “my guess is—probably not.” MEJO has found no evidence of such testing to date.
Government documents include no mentions of risks to vulnerable groups
Disturbingly, MEJO’s thorough reviews of DNR and public health agency documents to date have not found a single mention of potential exposures to vulnerable groups in the Kipp neighborhood. “Governmental officials have expressed no interest in or intent to assess exposures to these groups during public meetings and our interactions with them,” says Powell. “They have ignored our questions about these exposures for years.” Further, she notes, “Many of the most at-risk people around Kipp—low income people, minorities, kids, and elderly—are not at all aware of Kipp’s pollution and how it might affect them, and have not been engaged in public or political discussions about it so far.”
Watch for Part II of this series for more on this development--and on Kipp’s history of air pollution, how it might affect vulnerable people in the neighborhood, and how government officials have handled these matters.
 http://www.rockrivercoalition.org/publications/newsletters/RRCfall2006c.pdf (see bottom of p. 8 for photo of kids working on raingarden). The project was initiated by the Rock River Coalition, Friends of Starkweather Creek, Earth & Water Works, LLC and funded by a Dane County Water Quality Initiative grant. Project partners included City of Madison, Madison Kipp Corporation, Schenk, Atwood, Starkweather, Yahara, Neighborhood Association (SASYNA), MG&E, Atwood Community Center (now the Goodman Center), and more.
 The property was purchased through an anonymous donor (whom many in the neighborhood speculate is Reed Coleman, chairman of Madison-Kipp Corp.-- though this has been rebutted by the center's director as "100% false"), and the center renovation was funded by a large donation from Madison’s Goodman brothers. [Later in this series: the Coleman family’s political and philanthropy history in relation to Kipp and the Atwood neighborhood]
 The DNR claimed, when asked about this in Oct. 2011, not to have any knowledge about the PCE contamination under Goodman, or the source of the PCE, even though documents in their files clearly identify the source as Kipp.
Community Center and School At-Risk
Madison-Kipp Sued by State and Cited by EPA
Madison's oldest polluter, Madison-Kipp Corp, is being sued by the State of Wisconsin for PCB contamination. In early September, the U.S. EPA sent Kipp a notice of violation of its air emissions permit. And a class action lawsuit against is scheduled to go to trial in January.
After decades of activism to address Kipp pollution, neighborhood residents are finally seeing public officials take action. But why has it taken so long? And what will actually change?
Kipp is next door to Goodman Community Center, built in a renovated contaminated industrial site, and a few hundred feet away from Lowell Elementary School. Both facilities serve a high percentage of low-income minority children, who daily are put in harm's way.
MEJO begins a multi-part environmental justice series on the ongoing tragedy that is Kipp and the Atwood neighborhood. Dr. Maria Powell, MEJO founder, discusses Kipp’s impact on the neighborhood below. And in a new project, MEJO Investigates, we look in the history of Kipp’s pollution record (see sidebar).
Smart Meters: A Risk to Public Health and the Environment
Smart Meter Opt Out Victory!
On October 24, 2012, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved a smart meter opt out for Madison Water Utility customers, a resounding victory for smart people against stupid meters. (See an article here.)
Against great odds, Madison Water Utility customers have forced the utility to offer a smart meter opt out, allowing these savvy people a way to keep potentially harmful, intrusive microwave radio frequency radiation devices out of their homes.
In many communities, elected officials united with citizens to fight utilities' effort to force this harmful technology on people (see 57 CA Govts Demand a Halt). But in Madison, Wisc., elected officials united with the utility to fight its own citizens. Deeply ironic for a community that prides itself on its liberal democratic traditions. More about this watershed anti-democratic event here and the know-nothing, corporate-regurgitation actions of public officials here.
See what the experts think of smart meters here: Smart Meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation
MEJO in the News
MEJO in "Environmental Health News"
By Rae Tyson
Environmental Health News
September 13, 2012
MADISON, Wis.–Trey Mackey expertly baits his fishing hook with a live worm, sits down on a folding chair and casts a line into the waters of Monona Bay. He’s driven up from Chicago for a day of fishing that could provide a fresh, tasty dinner of blue gill. See more
Smart Meters: A Risk to Public Health and the Environment
Smart People Against Stupid Meters
Smart meter technology has emerged as a major new pathway for human exposure to radiofrequency radiation, which the World Health Organization has classified a possible human carcinogen. A variety of health effects from exposure to microwaves is well known, though the regulatory approach varies dramatically from country to country.
Microwaves are the part of the radio frequency spectrum that cell phones, wifi and smart meters broadcast within. The technology that each of these varies, but radiofrequency radiation is a concern from all these sources. For most of us, radio frequencies, microwaves, etc. are challenging topics to understand. A good primer can be found here.
A group of concerned citizens in Madison, Wisconsin has been learning about smart meters and has challenged the City of Madison implementation of smart meter technology for its Water Utility. MEJO has been involved in providing technical and organizing assistance for this group, called "Stop Smart Meters Madison".
MEJO has worked to share scientific studies with local decision makers, but has found a strange total denial of all health concerns. See more here.
MEJO has been helping citizens engage with local decision makers at the city council, city hall and committee level. Another oddly uniform fingers-in-the ears, “I-can’t-hear-you” response is described here.
While many cities across the country have worked with their citizens to provide opt out opportunities or have challenged smart meter technology implementation by electric and gas utilities, in Madison, Wisconsin, it’s the city that is fighting its own citizens on behalf of a water utility and global telecommunications corporations like Itron, Inc. Strange indeed.
UPDATE: On October 24, 2012, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved a smart meter opt out for Madison Water Utility customers, a resounding victory for smart people against stupid meters. (See an arcticle here.)
People, Invisible Risks”
In the new MIT Press book, Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Expert
Cultures in a Grassroots Movement, the Midwest Environmental
Justice Organization (MEJO) chronicles its
effort to raise local awareness
of toxins in locally caught fish and the two-year odyssey to convince
public officials to place fish consumption advisory signs at popular
shoreline fishing spots.
The story is
chronicled in the chapter titled, “Invisible
People, Invisible Risks: How Scientific Assessments of Environmental Health
Risks Overlook Minorities—and How Community Participation Can Make Them
Visible by Maria Powell, PhD and Jim Powell, with Ly V.
Xiong, Kazoua Moua, Jody Schmitz, Benito Juarez Olivas, and VamMeej Yang,
and is part of the book Technoscience
and Environmental Justice.
Excerpts from the book and more
A better approach? __________________________________________________________
Instead of continuing to beg
our environmental & public health agencies to monitor toxins in water
and fish, which we've learned is a futile endeavor, we've decided to go
catch some fish in southern
lakes and streams--good sources of fresh, local food. And they're free!
Yes, free food! But are they
free of toxins? Unfortunately, no. How much
mercury, other heavy metals, PCBs, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other
toxins will we ingest if we eat southern
fish regularly? We don't know. We don't have the resources to find out, and
apparently neither do our government agencies.
So we're just going to take our
chances. Free food is free food! In these hard economic times, beggars
can't be choosers.
Feel free to join us fishin' anytime! See you out there on the
reeling em' in!
Other MEJO news ____________________________________________________________
The price tag for the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation two-decade, three-phase plan for the reconstruction of the
West Beltline interchange in
, has risen to $500
A presidential executive order requires that environmental justice
concerns be addressed when using federal funds; and there are environmental
justice concerns: the DOT plan calls for increased air pollution that will
put an already at risk neighborhood even more at risk, ignores key air
pollutants, and does not require air monitoring or a health impact study.
What right to clean air and moderate noise pollution does the poorest
have? Apparently none.
By taking a greenwashing approach to its environmental justice mandate, the
Wisconsin Dept of Transportation makes it abundantly clear that local
residents may have a say over a pedestrian path here or there (and get a
free meal at meetings), but have no say in the health impacts caused by
greater pollution and higher noise levels over the coming decades.
By a torturous path of doublespeak, the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation has stated that the predicted air pollution increases are
acceptable and will not negatively impact residents in the Allied and Dunn’s Marsh neighborhoods adjacent to
For details on the problems with the plan, see MEJO’s Dec 17, 2010 comments
on the Department’s draft environmental impact study here.
From February 2-5,
, along with several other
was under an "Air Quality Advisory for Particle Pollution" due to
elevated levels of small particulates in the air.
The advisory was in the "orange" level, which means that the
particulate levels were unhealthy for "sensitive groups"-- people
with respiratory and/or heart diseases, the elderly, and children. This
includes at least half of the population. Some minority and lower income
groups have higher rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and/or
less access to health care, and are therefore even more vulnerable.
The DNR website suggests that
"people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on
strenuous activities" and more specifically, "people with lung
diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, and heart disease should pay
attention to cardiac symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath or
respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a
breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are
experiencing symptoms. Fine particle pollution deposits itself deep into the
lungs and cannot easily be exhaled. People who are
at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high particle
pollution exposure" (taken verbatim from the DNR website).
It is critical that we do
something to reduce air pollution in
While this is a regional air quality problem, and is exacerbated by weather patterns such as winter inversions and
‘stagnant air masses’, that doesn't leave
institutions and people off
the hook. It's our pollution that's being trapped
A purportedly ‘progressive’ community such as
, with a high
concentration of very educated and privileged people, a prestigious
research university and local and state government agencies, has no good
excuse for not doing better.
See our full press
In recognition of the human
health concerns of eating locally caught fish, the City of
has authorized the Public
Health Department to place fish consumption advisory signs along public
fishing shorelines in city and county parks.
Signs will be
installed in the spring before fishing season begins. Popular
fishing spots such as
in English, Hmong and Spanish to
advise people on the kinds and amounts of fish safest to eat.
here for our fish advisory sign analysis
The State of Shoreline Fishing
in Dane County
A report on
fishing, fish consumption
and public health
The Midwest Environmental
Justice Organization (MEJO) has a mission to educate the community about
environmental justice issues, work to address them, and support
environmental justice for the benefit of the general public.
We have been working with people of
color and low-income residents for more than two years discussing toxins
in locally-caught fish, and learning about cultural practices regarding
fishing and preparing and eating fish.
Due to mercury and PCB levels in fish,
the State of Wisconsin has issued fish
advisory warnings regarding toxins to anglers and those who eat locally
caught fish from inland Wisconsin
waters. Yet fish advisory information is little known or unknown to many
Levels of mercury, PCBs and other
toxins that concentrate in fish are a known public health hazard.
Shoreline anglers catch and consume many pan fish that may have lower
toxin levels than larger fish, but when consumed in high quantities they
may exceed levels recommended to avoid negative health effects; they also
frequently catch and consume larger fish, which tend to have higher
concentrations of toxins.
Through our investigations, we have
learned that public agencies have very little data about local fish
consumption habits and toxin levels in locally caught fish and have
little interaction with local anglers and their families who eat large
amounts of locally caught fish.
Levels of mercury, polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and
other toxins are high enough in Dane County lake sediments and waters to
raise concerns that people may need to limit their consumption of fish
caught in these waters because these compounds build up in fish tissue,
which humans consume (see the “Data Collection” section below).
Women of childbearing age, pregnant
women and children are especially at risk for developmental, neurological
and long term health problems from exposure to toxins present in locally
caught fish. The environmental impacts of pollution on low-income and
minority citizens are often unknown or underestimated because of a lack
of data collection, and lack of consideration of these populations in
determining public policy. This reality is a key component of
The common good and sound public health
policy is served by informing anglers and others of potential risks
associated with consuming many kinds of locally caught fish.
We recommend that fish consumption
advisory information be better communicated, especially to low-income and
color communities, through permanent, laminated metal signs at popular
publicly-accessible shoreline fishing locations, in Hmong, Spanish and
MEJO has interviewed 129 people
and held 12 focus group meetings with 150 participants over the past two
years. The meetings were held at neighborhood centers, agency facilities
and public locations such as
were held in the same locations, plus food pantries and shoreline fishing
spots. Most participants are low income, minority and fish locally or eat
locally caught fish caught by members of their family
We learned the following:
• Most people are unaware of fish
consumption advisories, and no one had seen the DNR booklet or the DHFS
brochure about them. (These two documents are the primary educational
method used by the State of Wisconsin.)
• Many people eat large numbers of fish
weekly, especially during fishing season (which can extend from April
into October). The annual average number of fish meals consumed by
families is 2.8 per week. For African Americans, 2.3 fish meals per week;
Hmong 3.6 fish meals per week; Latino 3.9 fish meals per week; and White
1.5 fish meals per week. Many people eat 10 or more fish meals per week,
with some eating fish at every meal, every day.
• The most popular shoreline fishing locations are around Lake Monona and
Lake Mendota, with two-thirds of respondents saying they fish along these
lakes. Almost fifty percent said they fish Monona
Bay in Brittingham Park.
Other top fishing spots are Tenney
Park (Lagoon and Yahara River),
Cherokee Marsh (Cherokee Lake and Cherokee Marsh/Yahara River at State Highway
113/ Northport Drive),
and the Wisconsin River (mostly in Sauk City).
• Hmong prefer white bass, which is a
smaller game fish that can have higher levels of some contaminants, but
which is not identified on the DHFS brochure and is rarely tested for
contaminates by the DNR.
• African Americans prefer catfish
(while many others also like to eat catfish). Catfish can have higher
levels of some contaminants (especially PCBs), but which is not
identified on the DHFS brochure and is rarely tested for contaminates by
• Awareness of mercury, PCBs and other
contaminants in the water and fish is low, with little understanding of
the pollution cycle.
• Most people are unaware that trimming
fat and removing the skin will help reduce PCBs in the cooked fish, or
that mercury is in the muscle tissue and cannot be removed at all.
• Many people do not fillet fish.
Leaving the skin on, not removing fat and using fish heads in soups are
all common practices which lead to greater exposure to many contaminants.
• When shown the DHFS brochure (in English,
Spanish or Hmong), many people did not find the fish they ate and
therefore erroneously assumed that those fish are okay to eat (meaning
they think no advisory exists for those fish).
• People thought fish consumption
advisory signs at shoreline fishing locations would be beneficial.
problem with our lakes"
A Public Forum by the
Monday, May 5
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Madison Central Library
201 W. Mifflin St. (1 block from Capitol Square)
Fishing is part of every
cultural heritage. Here in Wisconsin ice
fishing, trout fishing in streams and fishing from boats on one of the
state's 14,000 lakes are common images. Less common to
many people is the image of someone fishing from the railroad tracks that
cross Monona Bay, along the bike path wall at Monona
Terrace, and at the Tenney
Park lagoon or
Yet shoreline fishing in the
area is a great, inexpensive pastime for many people, especially people
of color and the poor. And the fish--panfish,
white bass, catfish, carp--are a welcome and
often much-needed fresh food source on many people's plates.
Herein lays a problem.
Due to toxins in the lakes,
locally caught fish contain mercury, PCBs, PAHs, lead, pesticides,
pharmaceuticals and other poisons. Anyone who eats fish needs to be aware
of these concerns and make smart decisions regarding how many and which
kinds of fish to eat.
And all of us need to think
of "cleaning up the lakes" as addressing the toxins that are in
the sediment, water, fish and other aquatic life.
Join us at our Forum as we
look at the situation and discuss ideas how to make the lakes cleaner and
eating fish an always healthy food choice.
Info: www.mejo.us ~ 608.240.1485
ambiental, la pesca y problemas con nuestros lagos"
Coordinado por la Organizacion
Lunes el 5 de mayo
7:00 - 8:30 pm
201 W. Mifflin St. (una cuadra del
La pesca es patrimonio cultural de
cada civilización. Aquí en Wisconsin la pesca en el hielo , la pesca
de trucha en los arroyos y la pesca en bote en uno de los 14, 000
lagos que posee el estado es una imágen común. Menos común para la mayoría,
es la imágen de alguien que pesca desde la vía del
ferrocarril que cruza la bahía del lago Monona, también
a lo largo del camino para las bicicletas junto al Centro de
convenciones Monona Terrace, en la laguna del parque de Tenney o la
playa del parque Warner.
La pesca en la playas en el área de Madison
es un pasatiempo importante y barato para mucha gente, especialmente para
la gente de color y los pobres. Peces como la carpa, la morraja, el
siluro y pez gato son un recurso de comida fresca en la mesa
de muchas personas.
Aquí esta el problema:
Debido a las tóxinas en los lagos, los peces
capturados contienen mercurio, PCBs, PAHs, plomo, pesticidas,
productos farmacéuticos y otros venenos.Cualquier persona que consume
pescado debe estar enterada de ello y tomar decisiones inteligentes sobre
cuántos y qué clase de peces come.
Cada uno de nosotros necesita pensar en la
"limpieza de los lagos " ,así como también en las tóxinas que
contiene el agua, los peces y otro tipo de vida acuática.
Acompañanos en nuestro foro para analizar
esta problemática , sugerir ideas para limpiar los lagos y hacer el
hábito de consumir pescado saludable y seguro
“Saib Ncig Peb Qabvag Tsibtaug Kom Muaj Kev Ncav
Ncees, Kev Nuv Ntses Thiab Muaj Ntau Yam Teeb Meem Nrog Peb Cov Pas Dej”
tos txais yog Madison Environmental Justice Organization
Hnub Monday, Tsib hlis tim 5
Taum 7 Teev Tsaus Ntuj (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
Madison Central Library
201 W. Mifflin St. (1 blov los
ntawm lub nthug tsev dawb)
ntses yog ib txoj kev cai txhua leej txhua tus txawj thiab kaw siv los ib
tiam dhau ib tiam. Nyob hauv Wisconsin
neeg nuv ntses txhua qhov. Qhov nyob ncaj ke ces yog qhov coj pom neeg
nuv ntses heev yam li lub caib ntujnaw daus nuv ntses, hauv tus dej teeg,
thiab tsav nkoj nuv ntses hauv ib lub pas dej ntawm 14,000 lub pas dej
nyob hauv lub xeev no. Qhov nyob ncaim ke yog qhov coj tsis tshua pom
neeg nuv ntses yam li yog raws tus ciav tsheb hlau ncig Monona Bay,
raws txoj kab tsheb kauj vab Monona Terrace, pas dej Tenney Park,
thiab raws ntug dej Warmer
pom tias nuv ntses ncig lub zos Madison
zoo heev, pheej yig thiab nyob zes tsev, seem rau cov neeg txawv nqaij
tawv dub, daj, thiab cov neeg pluag. Cov pas dej ncig zos no muaj cov
ntses lauj kaub(panfish), ntses dawb(white bass), ntses tuaj kub(cat
fish), ntses pam nais(carp). Cov ntses muaj npe tas no yawg cov ntses
sawv daws nyiam nuv ntau dua thiab yog yam nqaij ntses tshiab coob tus
coj los tso saum rooj ua nqaij noj.
sis muaj teeb meem.
ntau yam tshuaj pem nyob hauv pas dej. Cov ntses nuv tau hauv cov pas dej
nyob ze zos no muaj hlau mercury, PCB, PAH’s lead, pesticides(tshuaj tua
kab), pharmaceuticals, thiab lwm yam kab mob . Yog leej twg noj cov nqiaj
ntses nyob hauv cov pas dej no. Yuav tsum ceev faj txog kev txhawj xeeb
cov kuv hais tag los no. Thiaj txiav txim siab tau tias yam nqaij ntses
twg pes tsawg tus mam noj.
nro peb txhua tus xav tau “yuav tsum tu thiab kho cov pas dej” thiaj li
yog ib qho pib hauv pau kom cov tshuaj (toxins) nyob hauv qab pas dej,
hav dej, ntses, thiab lwm yam tsiaj huv si mus yag tom tej.
koom siab nrog peb lub Rooj Sablaj(Forum) peb sawv
daws sib pab tawm tswb yim tu kho cov pas dej kom huv thiab noj nqiaj
ntses thiaj li yog khoom noj huv si mus yav tom ntej.
Xav paub ntxiv: www.mejo.us; 608-241-4180
County placing fish
protect public health
Fish advisory signs installed to
highlight need for official action
activists and anglers place signs around Monona Bay
(MADISON, Wis.)—Sixty people gathered at Brittingham Park
on Thurs., Sept. 20 to make and install fish consumption advisory signs
to help shoreline anglers learn about the toxins in fish caught in Monona Bay.
“Mercury, PCBs, PAHs,
heavy metals, and other toxin levels in Monona Bay make it necessary for
people to limit their consumption of many of the fish caught there, yet there
are no signs posted anywhere along the bay shoreline to notify anglers of
the risks,” said Madison Environmental Justice Organization Executive
Director Maria Powell.
“This is important
because Monona Bay is one of the most heavily fished spots in the county,
and most of the shoreline, often low-income anglers are not aware
of the fish advisories,” she continued. “Signs posted around the bay at
least would provide information to shoreline anglers as they fish and may
lead them to make safer decisions about consuming fish.”
MEJO has been asking state and county officials to
install advisory signs to for the past year. The state often post fish
consumption advisory signs at public boat ramps, but has not placed any
, where most
anglers fish from shore. MEJO posted their own unofficial signs to draw
attention to the need for the state and county to do so. MEJO
Cynthia Lin, Kazoua Moua, VamMeej Yang, Benito Juarez
Olivas, Jody Schmitz and Sierra Powell welcomed a large crowd at the
fish fry where they learned
about the pollution problems in the bay.
Midwest Environmental Justice Organization educates communities about
environmental justice issues, facilitates communities' abilities to
address them, and supports environmental justice for the benefit of the
Midwest Environmental Justice Organization