July 22, 2008

City Gets $1.3 Million in Cleanup Funds

By Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jul. 22--The federal government has given Milwaukee $1.3 million to evaluate and clean up environmentally contaminated properties, Mayor Tom Barrett said today.

The money comes from five grants from the Environmental Protection Agency:

- $200,000 to clean up 2227 N. 31st St., a site in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor;

- $200,000 to clean up 522 W. North Ave. in the Bronzeville Cultural & Entertainment District;

- $200,000 to assess sites contaminated by petroleum;

- $200,000 to assess sites contaminated with hazardous substances;

- $500,000 for the city's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, which provides low-interest loans and grants for environmental cleanup.

Among the specific sites to be cleaned up:

2227 N. 31st St. -- The property is affected by hazardous contaminants. This property is a former commercial/industrial lot with the following historic uses: light manufacturing, tool and die manufacturing, machine shop, auto repair, TV rentals and electronics, laundry, assembly of electronic parts, and auto sales.

City records also reference the installation of a 1,000-gallon tank, an oil burner and a gas pump. Historical fire inspection reports identified improper storage of lacquer thinner and the location of a paint spray booth. The site is vacant.

522 W. North Ave -- This property was previously occupied by a two-story building that was formerly used for commercial purposes, including a gasoline station and a pest control/exterminating company. The building was demolished in 2001.

The property now is a vacant lot. The source of petroleum contamination on the site is more than likely associated with the former gasoline station. During the building demolition, four additional tanks were discovered. In total, one 8,000-gallon and five 1,000-gallon gasoline underground storage tanks were removed from the property in 2000 and 2001.


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