Mercury Marine will pay for cleanup at Wisconsin site

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A Mercury Marine spokesman says the company is looking forward to completing its voluntary PCB cleanup at its former Wisconsin manufacturing site, an effort that's estimated to total about $3 million.

“Mercury is prepared for, and looking forward to completing, this project,” Mercury spokesman Steve Fleming told Soundings Trade Only in an email.

Mercury and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed on a work plan with input from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In a consent decree recently filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Mercury has agreed to pay all costs associated with the cleanup.

The Cedarburg, Wis., site’s former plant was demolished several years ago as part of the first phase. The final phase, which is scheduled to be finished by year’s end, will remove the remaining concrete foundation of the building, as well as the soil below and around the concrete slab.

“We are now removing concrete floors, excavating soil beneath and surrounding the floor, replacing the soil with clean soil and planting vegetation,” the company announced in a statement. “All excavated material will be carefully transported to licensed landfills.”

The soil contains polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly referred to as PCBs, which were used many years ago in manufacturing processes performed at the site.

Materials excavated with PCB levels higher than 50 parts per million will be disposed of at a licensed facility in Indiana. Materials with lower levels will be disposed of at a permitted solid waste facility in Wisconsin.

"This property has been home to a number of industries and operations dating back to 1907,” the company said in a statement. “We can’t be certain how or when the soil was impacted. Regardless, Mercury Marine is implementing a thorough cleanup."

— Reagan Haynes

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