MERRIMAC — Army officials reported today that laboratory tests have
detected several contaminants in boundary wells at the Northeast corner
of Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Low levels of the explosive
2,6-dinitrotoluene, 2,4-dinitrophenol (a chemical used in the
manufacture of explosives, wood preservatives, and insect control
substances), industrial solvent 1,1,2-trichloroethane, boron (a
contaminant often associated with flyash), and sulfates were detected in
Contaminant levels do not exceed safe drinking water standards however
levels exceed the WDNR’s Preventive Action Limit (PAL). The PAL serves
as a “trigger” for remedial action and allows time to investigate a
problem before the enforcement standard is reached.
2,4-dinitrophenol was reported at 10.1 ug/l (micrograms/liter). While
Wisconsin does not have a groundwater standard for 2,4-dinitrophenol,
CSWAB said Minnesota’s Department of Health has recommended a Health
Risk Limit (HRL) of 10.0 ug/l. Minnesota’s HRL is “the concentration of
a groundwater contaminant that can be safely consumed daily for a
lifetime.” The WDNR will be forwarding this information to the
Wisconsin Division of Health.
The WDNR will be evaluating all the information provided today and will
determine whether or not it will require the Army to test additional
residential wells. The Army is currently required to test one nearby
private well on a regular basis.
Badger officials said groundwater tests conducted earlier this year were
not dependable; faulty sampling techniques are suspected. With improved
protocols, the Army believes the recent test results are reliable.
Environmental contractors working for the Army have recommended that
five (5) additional monitoring wells be tested outside the Badger fence
to get a better understanding of off-site groundwater quality and flow