EPA Begins Hazardous Waste Cleanup at Chudnow Iron and Metal Co. Site in Milwaukee
CHICAGO (September 19, 2022) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the start of a hazardous-waste cleanup at the Chudnow Iron and Metal Co. site, 5401 W. State St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In March 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources referred the site to the federal agency for action. EPA anticipates the estimated $1.8 million cleanup will be completed by mid-December.
Since the 1950s, the former scrap-and-salvage yard accepted all types of waste material including automobiles and appliances. Scrapping operations ceased in 2001, leaving several debris piles throughout the southern portion of the site. In 2003, the property was purchased by State Street LLC. In 2004, the piles were sifted to remove scrap metal and debris and redistributed in a berm across the southern portion of the site. Also in 2004, WDNR was notified of hazardous substance releases caused by underground storage tanks and salvage yard operations. Metals, chlorinated solvents, gasoline and other volatile organic compounds were identified as contaminants, with lead and PCBs later discovered as the primary substances of concern. Investigations determined that the berm that was believed to have been built out of soil, was actually a PCB-and-metals contaminated waste pile.
The state made many attempts to get the property owner to clean up the site before asking EPA for assistance. EPA will remove the berm, dispose of the contaminated substances at an approved facility and cover the site with clean fill, if necessary.