[tlg_headings separator=”line” icon=”” customize_font=”yes” title_font=”0″ subtitle_font=”0″ title=”City Pulled Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Based on Funding Sources — Not Safety — Records Show” title_size=”28″ subtitle=”Doubt cast on City, AECOM, and DNR assertions by public documents, Stantec court report” subtitle_color=”#333333″ subtitle_size=”22″ subtitle_padding_top=”10″]

Councilperson Sherry Abitz:
“I always want to stay in an area that would cause me health problems. I would question their health insurance company if they would continue to cover them knowing there is a possibility they would get cancer or some other disease because they refuse to leave…”

Read her full email here to the non-profit law center that emailed the city (highlights added)

During the same period residents in the neighborhood were alleging cancer and other serious illnesses from contamination in a substantial lawsuit, the City of Wausau pulled more intense environmental studies from the Thomas Street Project, records show.

In 2011, From WSAW, Channel 7, regarding the neighborhood lawsuit concerning the Crestline/Wauleco property:

 

“There are probably 30 cases of cancer. The primary driver behind most of the illnesses would be the presence of dioxins in the surface soils around the neighborhood that people would have inhaled and ingested over time, just from living in the area”, said Warpinski, attorney with the Milwaukee based law firm, Friebert, Finerty and St. John.”

“[D]ioxins in the surface soils” – and now the City of Wausau intends to dig up the soil in the neighborhood without doing any soil tests on the residential properties whatsoever. None.

Take note of the River Street neighborhood mentions in the lawsuit documents. For those who are not aware, for Phase II of the project, from 4th Avenue to the bridge, the yards of the River Street homes abut the yards of the Thomas Street homes — between Cleveland Avenue and Emter Street. The City intends to dig up these Thomas Street yards and their soil without doing any soil tests on these properties.

 

river street and thomas street

Where River Street and Thomas Street yards adjoin. From Google Maps. Click image to view larger.


It is important that the public know that the City only intended to do more intense environmental studies because it was required for federal funding. The City of Wausau’s unfortunate logic was that when the federal funding was lost, so was the need to do these environmental tests. See and listen below.

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“He [Brad Marquardt] explained the City has amended a contract with AECOM for more intense environmental documents that were required by the DOT. If the City is not eligible for the funding, these documents are not required.”

-CISM Meeting Minutes, September 11, 2012, After Losing Federal Funding for the Project

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Listen to the exchange above between then City Council President Robert Mielke and Eric Lindman, Current Public Works Director, about the Environmental Impact “Study” / Statement (EIS) at the CISM Meeting on January 14, 2016

See a Sample of Neighborhood Contamination Documents Below

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“Our opinion is further substantiated by the documented presence of dioxin contamination in the residential neighborhood east of the former SNE Facility; a condition that is attributed to airborne and stormwater transport of contaminated site soils and dusts.”

— Court Documents, Stantec Summary of Opinions, Page 17

stantec report

“There are many potential risks to public health, and the chance of an overwhelming financial liability for taxpayers, if the project moves forward without citizen involvement and complete information on the nature of the contaminants likely present but not tested for.”

— Kimberlee Wright, Executive Director of Midwest Environmental Advocates, Letter to the Wausau City Council Regarding the Thomas St. Project

“You are concerned with pollution, but if the residents are so concerned with their health why are they so interested in staying and not moving when they have other residents that have been diagnosis [sic] with cancer”

— Councilperson Abitz Email to Midwest Environmental Advocates

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