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AuntieNae
WGA Treasurer
WGA Treasurer



Joined: 2004-04-12
Posts: 3256
Location: Waukesha/ Greenfield/ Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:35 am Reply with quote Back to top

Just a heads up, I am not sure what geocaches might be in these areas. I received this email at Parks & Recreation on Friday when I was at Midwest Geobash.

AuntieNae

********************************************************

Immediate Release

July 20, 2007

Contact: Bill Graffin, MMSD Public Information Manager, (414) 225-2077

Contact: Raquel Filmanowicz, City of Milwaukee Health Communications Officer, (414) 397-1614

Public alert to avoid parks treated with PCB contaminated fertilizer

(Milwaukee, WI) – The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) are advising residents to avoid using some fenced off areas in several Milwaukee County Parks because they were treated with fertilizer that was later found to be contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

PCBs were used as coolants and lubricants within manufacturing of electrical equipment for many years due to their fire resistance and insulation properties. The U.S. banned PCBs in 1977 after research showing harmful environmental and human health effects.

MMSD donated the fertilizer to Milwaukee County because it did not meet the nitrogen standards necessary to be marketed as Milorganite. The District prefers to give fertilizer away that does not meet Milorganite standards instead of sending it to a landfill.

The park areas being fenced by MMSD and posted with MHD health alert signage are located in limited sections of: Sheridan, Kulwicki, Grant and Madison Parks, within Milwaukee County.


At this time, given the preliminary information provided to the MHD, there does not appear to be an imminent public health risk associated with this event. However, the MHD and MMSD have developed signage to alert the public to refrain from use of select park sites and to avoid direct contact with soils and dirt in these areas pending further testing and contaminant remediation as necessary.


Exposure to PCBs in the environment can occur through contact with contaminated water, food or air. Dietary sources of PCB include consumption of fish, dairy products as well and poultry and red meats. Exposure to PCBs at low levels over long periods of time is associated with neurological and immune system effects. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that PCBs may reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens.


The fertilizer was delivered to Milwaukee County on July 3 and applied to the parks on July 5. Testing on July 9 found high levels of PCBs in fertilizer being produced at the Jones Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

It should be noted that PCB tests take 6-to-9 days to process.


The source of the PCB contamination remains unknown. District crews are investigating and monitoring the system.


MMSD is working with the MHD, WDNR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify next steps for cleaning up the PCBs in the parks. The District has also quarantined tons of fertilizer at the treatment plant as a precaution but is confident that no contaminated material was made commercially available for sale.


Further PCB health-related information can be obtained on the City of Milwaukee website at www.milwaukee.gov/pcbs or by calling the Milwaukee Health Department at 414-286-3616.

#######
Bill Graffin

MMSD Public Information Manager

(414) 225-2077

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Finding Flow in Nature - Earthcaches Rock!Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or it\'s Board of Directors. 
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AuntieNae
WGA Treasurer
WGA Treasurer



Joined: 2004-04-12
Posts: 3256
Location: Waukesha/ Greenfield/ Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

Our reviewer Wis Kid is currently checking the maps. It appears that there might only be 1, maybe 2 geocaches in the areas of contamination.

If you are searching for caches in these parks and find areas closed, please let a reviewer know.

AuntieNae

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Finding Flow in Nature - Earthcaches Rock!Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or it\'s Board of Directors. 
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Wis Kid
WGA Friend



Joined: 2007-05-04
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Renee. By some sort of miracle, the only cache caught in the spill is Alan Kulwicki Memorial Cache in Kulwicki Park. Uncle Fun has already disabled that one. If you want to be EXTRA safe or have uncontrollable small children or dogs, you might want to avoid Packer War Heroes and Madison Park. Both of those are near, but not in, the contaminated areas. I have asked the owners of these caches to check to see if the caches are still accessible. If you are planning on caching in Grant, Madison, or Sheridan Park, I would recommend that you print out a map of the affected areas from: www.countyparks.com

Breaking news is that there is another area of contamination in the Root River Parkway. It is a fairly small area in the region South of Grange, and North of College. There are no geocaches in the affected area, but if you take a REALLY dumb approach to Where The Deer Hide 2, you might think of passing through the area. If you are seeking this cache anytime soon, here is a free hint. USE A BRIDGE! (or better yet, just start on the right side of the river in the first place.) Note that the cache is nowhere near the contaminated area.

Let me know if you run into other problems related to this hazard, but for now, I think they (and we) have it all under control.
 
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Vegas Gamblers
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-06-27
Posts: 6625
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Wis Kid wrote:
There are no geocaches in the affected area, but if you take a REALLY dumb approach to Where The Deer Hide 2, you might think of passing through the area. .



OK this describes about all of my Cache approaches. Laughing

Thanks for checking the areas.
 
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Greendale4X4
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-05-01
Posts: 98
Location: Greendale, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

They've posted maps here:

http://www.co.milwaukee.wi.us/ParksandPublicInfras7720.htm

I think you're pretty safe for the "Where the Deer Hide" caches.
 
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AuntieNae
WGA Treasurer
WGA Treasurer



Joined: 2004-04-12
Posts: 3256
Location: Waukesha/ Greenfield/ Milwaukee

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Milwaukee Public Schools has closed many fields as well. I do not think there are geocaches at these sites since many are school grounds.

http://www.jsonline.com/watch/?watch=1&date=7/24/2007&id=26870

AuntieNae

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