Despite our best efforts, the undulating prairie landscape that this community has worked so hard to preserve will forever be marred by a monstrous earthen finger in the sky – the Army’s parting gesture to its neighbors.  Due to a fundamental design error by Army contractors, the new 14-acre landfill at Badger Army Ammunition Plant will rise as high as 70 feet above the surrounding terrain – a pyramid-shaped tower set against the flowing grasslands of the Sauk Prairie.

Olin Corporation, a contractor working for the U.S. Army, underestimated the amount of demolition debris and other wastes that will be generated during the base closure process.  Because expanding the footprint to reduce the overall height of the landfill would cause a significant delay in the permitting process, the Army opted to go “up” instead of “out.” Yet another 17 acres at the base of the Baraboo Hills will be excavated to provide soil cover for the landfill; another 30 acres along the terminal moraine will be dug and scraped for sand.

CSWAB and the Ho-Chunk Nation were the only entities – local, state, or federal – that formally objected to the landfill design and environmental assessment process.  Sauk County officials admitted that they never even looked at their copy of the proposal.

On June 9, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved the new landfill that will be constructed just inside the fence on the east side of Badger near Highway 78 – a landfill that it hopes to eventually own and operate.

Approved by WDNR on June 9, 2004.

Scale drawing provided courtesy of Badger Army Ammunition Plant, 2004. Horizontal lines are spaced at 10 foot increments. The undulation to the right of the proposed landfill (on left) is the final grade of the currently operating landfill at Badger