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Agreement reached for cleanup of Ashland Superfund site

Northern States Power Company will perform the second and final phase of the cleanup at the Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund Site in Northwestern Wisconsin under a settlement the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.

The 40-acre site is located on the shore of Lake Superior in Chequamegon Bay in the City of Ashland, and was used for various industrial purposes for more than a century, resulting in the release of volatile organic compounds such as benzene and semi-volatile organic compounds such as naphthalene at the site.

Northern States Power will design, construct and implement the cleanup of contaminated sediments in Chequamegon Bay at an approximate cost of $42 million. The cleanup is expected to take up to two years.

The primary source of pollution at the site was the manufactured gas plant operated by Northern States Power’s predecessor company between 1885 and 1947. Pollution from the manufactured gas plant contaminated both the on-land portion of the site and the sediment in the bay.

Northern States Power has already been performing the on-land portion of the cleanup. With the new settlement, Northern States Power will complete the entire selected cleanup at the site.

The bay cleanup will include dredging and removal of contaminated sediments. The EPA and state of Wisconsin will oversee the work.

The proposed consent decree will be subject to public comment for 30 days prior to entry in federal court. The consent decree will be available at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.

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