DOJ files environmental suit against Madison-Kipp

Company not surprised by lawsuit
DOJ files environmental suit against Madison-Kipp

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit accusing Madison-Kipp of violating Wisconsin’s hazardous substance spills law at a facility on Madison’s east side.

The suit accuses the company of failing to notify the Department of Natural Resources of its unauthorized discharge of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the environment and failure to clean up industrial chemicals in the neighborhood surrounding the facility at 201 Waubesa St.

The DOJ said Madison-Kipp used a harmful degreasing solvent between the late 1940s and 1987, and the chemical was released into the air and soil causing contamination beyond the property.

In 1994, the DNR identified Madison-Kipp as the source of the contamination and has worked with the company on remediation.  The DNR said it found contamination on at least 39 properties in the neighborhood.

The DOJ said remediation work done by Madison-Kipp since 1994 has included soil excavation, soil treatment and the installation of soil vapor extraction systems.

The DNR also said Madison-Kipp used oil containing PCBs from 1966 until at least 1971 and was not told about the contamination until 2012.  PCB soil contamination has been found at the facility and in areas north, east and west of the facility, according to the DNR.

Madison-Kipp has conducted soil excavation at its facility to address the contamination, according to the DOJ.

Mark Meunier, Madison-Kipp vice president of human resources, said there’s nothing new to prompt the lawsuit, and the lawsuit is not surprising.  He said it’s another step in the process of addressing the state’s concerns.

He said the company did nothing illegal and will work to resolve the state’s claim.

He also said recent investigations showed no elevated health risks.