LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Officials in La Crosse officials say they’re hopeful they may avoid a costly project to remove lead contamination in the western Wisconsin city’s River Marsh.
An environmental consultant’s report found that contaminants from thousands of lead pellets left from trap shooting decades ago haven’t affected the water table below the marsh. The large wetland complex is in the Lower La Crosse River’s flood plain.
That assurance could give the city more options to address the problem, La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat told Wisconsin Public Radio . He said removing the pellets would cost the city millions of dollars and could do more harm than good.
“We’re suggesting not to do anything but to continue to monitor,” Kabat said.
Kabat said city officials want to do long-term monitoring of insects and animals in the marsh to make sure the contamination isn’t spreading.
The Wisconsin Natural Resources Department will decide next steps.
“(The DNR) will tell us if they want further study or if they want a different kind of remediation or whatever it is they decide that they want,” said Phil Ostrem, a city councilman. “There’s a new head of the DNR so we really have no inkling of what’s going to happen.”
The mayor said city officials plan to send their recommendation to the department next month.