The Cedar Creek water system was originally comprised of four reservoirs (Ruck, Columbia, Wire & Nail, and Hamilton Ponds) and the stretches in between. In 1994, Ruck Pond (the pond most upstream) was cleaned up by removing 7,000 cubic yards of sediment containing the highest concentrations of PCBs at the site. In 1996, the Hamilton Pond dam failed and was removed which resulted in a constricted creek channel in the location of the former reservoir. Materials exposed following the dam failure together with adjacent flood plain/bank soils were then removed.
The site now comprises Columbia Pond at its most upstream end, followed by Wire & Nail Pond a few hundred feet below, and approximately 1.5 miles of creek until it converges with the Milwaukee River.
The Cedar Creek project is headed up by Mercury's experienced environmental professionals who have successfully implemented the clean up of Ruck Pond as well as the removal of 14,000 tons of contaminated soils from the former Hamilton Pond. The plans implemented at both of these locations have been recognized by those involved as thorough and as protective of human health and the environment.
Mercury has asked the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assume management of the Cedar Creek project. The EPA has developed procedures and protocols to effectively address the investigation of such sites and has made clean up decisions based on the results of these investigations at sites throughout the country, including Wisconsin. The same procedures used by EPA at these other locations will be employed by EPA on the Cedar Creek site.
Mercury will be performing an investigation of the Creek and studying the feasibility of clean up options. EPA will then review the results of the study along with comments from the community and will propose a draft remedial action plan. The community will again have an opportunity to comment before EPA makes a final decision on what needs to be done to remedy the environmental issues associated with the Creek. Once a remedy is selected EPA will enter into negotiations with Mercury and any other parties it believes to be responsible for conditions in the Creek.
This part of the project is focused on meeting the needs of the regulatory agencies, the community, and those who own property along Cedar Creek. As it moves forward, Mercury will be working with citizens, community leaders, the EPA, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, contractors, and other interested parties to assure the success of the project.