Army pledges Merrimac Badger Ammunition cleanup help, will not fund drinking water system
Army pledges Merrimac Badger Ammunition cleanup help, will not fund drinking water system.
Residents living within reach of toxic groundwater pollution near the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant questioned Army officials Wednesday about their sudden abandonment of a proposed $20 million public drinking water system.
Army representatives said they’re committed to ensuring people living near the property have access to clean drinking water, but said an Army representative acted prematurely when committing to fund a public drinking water system for the residents.
“The Army prides itself on what we say we’re going to do — we’re going to do and follow through.
But in this particular incident we are not going to be able to do that right now.” Members of the audience said the Army waited too long to communicate its decision, is not honoring its commitment and has not come up with any new solution to the contamination issues plaguing them.
“One of the things that is often said is that the DOD (Department of Defense) does not recognize the groundwater needs to be restored to its beneficial levels,” Tesner said.
“That is not the case.
At the very highest levels of the Pentagon, the Department of Defense level … that assertion has been made and has been made very recently that even if we can’t do the drinking water system we will have a remedy and we will stick to it.” One resident who lives nearby said his well hasn’t been tested for contaminants in six years.
Kelly said with a decrease or stabilization in the chemicals in the majority of wells "it is time where we move from an active remedy to a more passive one, but that doesn’t mean we go away."
The Army said it now has a remedial investigative contract, and in early 2018 will draft a remedial investigation for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.