Damakant Jayshi

Wausau officials are awaiting feedback from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about clean-up standards for contaminated sections of Riverside Park, according to a report from the Department of Public Works. 

REI, Wausau’s environmental consultant, submitted its Riverside Park site investigation report to the DNR last month requesting clarification on which TEQ calculation standards are required for clean-up levels, Public Works Director Eric Lindman told members of the Capital Improvements and Street Maintenance Committee on Thursday. Once the City hears from the DNR, the report said, they will roll out a formal remediation plan.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, TEQ (toxic equivalency) are the calculated values that allow the community and facilities dealing with contaminated sites to compare the toxicity of different combinations of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

Tests conducted by REI showed the existence of toxic compounds in Riverside Park. 

The latest REI report follows test sample results sent to the DNR in July for review. In August, a DNR official told Wausau Pilot & Review that the department had preliminarily reviewed the test results and expected Wausau to submit its investigation report for a formal review of the remediation plan. 

Another environmental consultant, GEI, is currently tabulating results of the tests at 1300 Cleveland Avenue, said the DPW director’s report, adding the results would be submitted to the city once complete.

In July, the City Council modified Wausau’s budget to conduct additional environmental analysis at the property where earlier testing revealed high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals. The additional amount, $98,500, came from the city’s environmental fund.

Damakant Jayshi is a reporter for Wausau Pilot & Review. He is also a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of GroundTruth Project that places journalists into local newsrooms. Reach him at damakant@wausaupilotandreview.com.

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