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Madison-Kipp Corporation Madison, Wisconsin

Documents related to the Madison-Kipp investigation and cleanup are now available on the BRRTS on the Web (BOTW) database. Documents and activity details can be found at Madison-Kipp Corp, Madison-Kipp Rain Garden and Madison-Kipp Soil Remediation.

Groundwater and soils at certain locations on the Madison-Kipp Corporation (MKC) property in Madison are contaminated with chlorinated solvents. Investigations are continuing to determine the extent of contamination around the neighboring areas to the east of the MKC property at 201 Waubesa Street.

Wisconsin Department of Justice files lawsuit against Madison-Kipp

Site history

Site description & history

Madison-Kipp Corporation (MKC) has operated in the city since 1902. The original manufacturing facility is still in use as a factory for precision parts for automobiles and other vehicles. Located between Waubesa and Marquette streets on Madison’s eastside, the plant is closely bordered to the east and west by single-family homes, and by the Goodman Community Center to the north.

Environmental history

Until 1989, chlorinated degreasing solvents were used at Madison-Kipp Corporation. This use resulted in contamination of soil and groundwater. In 1994, the DNR issued a formal notice to Madison-Kipp that identified them as the responsible party and informed them of their responsibilities under the state spill law. Since then, the DNR has provided regulatory oversight of Madison-Kipp's efforts to assess and clean up the contamination.

Assessing contamination

In 1995, further assessment revealed contaminated groundwater beneath MKC due to tetrachloroethylene (PCE). A 2002 discovery determined an area of soils on the east side of the facility contained elevated levels of PCE. Soil samples were collected from the backyards of three homes on the west side of Marquette Street. Though PCE was found in soils, the levels did not exceed direct-contact, health guidelines.

In 2006, MKC installed vapor probes in the same three homes where soils were tested, to determine whether PCE vapors were migrating through subsurface soils and towards homes. Initial results did not detect PCE vapors, but more indepth sampling found PCE vapors in the yards and near the three homes. In 2010, samples from beneath those homes found elevated PCE vapors. Sampling of indoor air found a trace amount of PCE in one home.

Interim actions

At different times from 1998 to 2005, MKC injected an oxidizing agent into affected soils on their property and neighboring property in an effort to break down and eliminate PCE. These efforts were successful in reducing PCE soil concentrations onsite.

In spring 2011, MKC installed a sub-slab vapor mitigation system in the three homes where testing had taken place.  As a precaution, systems were also added to a home on the north side and a home on the south side of the original three.

Sub-slab vapor mitigation systems effectively remove PCE vapors from beneath homes and prevent soil vapors from entering indoor air. They are the same type of equipment used to remove radon from homes. The system works by creating a negative pressure beneath the home, thereby eliminating vapors from entering the home from beneath the concrete slab that forms the basement floor.

In 2011, the DNR drafted a Scope of Work [PDF], outlining additional interim actions to be taken by Madison-Kipp. The scope of work addresses soil and groundwater contamination, as well as potential vapor intrusion.

Future actions

As new investigation and other response action reports are received from MKC’s environmental consultant, the DNR will direct the company on any additional necessary steps to protect public health and the environment.

Health information

Health information

The DNR, Public Health–Madison & Dane County, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have reviewed the sampling data and determined that the primary route of exposure to residences is from contamination through vapor intrusion. Three homes next to Madison-Kipp Corporation had elevated levels of PCE [exit DNR] beneath the basement concrete floor or sub-slab. Sampling of indoor air in the three homes found a trace of PCE in only one home. Breathing this level of PCE for many years is not known to cause adverse health effects, but does pose a slightly increased cancer risk.

Sub-slab mitigation systems are known to effectively remove PCE vapors from beneath the floors and prevent these vapors from reaching indoor air. With this in mind, systems were installed in five nearby homes determined to have risk for vapor intrusion.

Drinking water to area homes is provided by the Madison Water Utility and a nearby municipal well is not determined to be affected by this contamination.


Public information

The DNR is working with state, local and private parties to keep the public informed of important findings, during ongoing environmental work at Madison-Kipp.

MKC investigation and cleanup neighborhood updates

Public meetings

The DNR staff will coordinate with the city of Madison and our other partners to host public information meetings. Meetings will be held to coincide with the release of important reports and technical findings, and otherwise on an as-needed basis.

Online documentation

Select documents and reports will be made available for online download and viewing, as they are available. View these items in the "Documents" tab.

Public document repository

A repository of documents related to this cleanup is available at the reference desk of Madison Public Library’s Hawthorne Branch, 2707 East Washington Avenue, Madison.

In the news

Find links to select local news articles about the investigation and cleanup.

DNR's online database

Use the Wisconsin Remediation and Redevelopment Database (WRRD) to learn more about contaminated sites. To look up Madison-Kipp Corporation, search "Madison Kipp" in either BRRTS on the Web or RR Sites Map.

Documents and maps

Documents and maps

All of DNR's public documents pertaining to the Madison-Kipp cleanup and investigation are available for review, either on DNR's BOTW database - Madison-Kipp Corp, Madison-Kipp Rain Garden or Madison-Kipp Soil Remediation; the DNR website (i.e., this page); at the public document repository or at the DNR South Central Region Offices in Fitchburg. To view documents at DNR offices, please contact project manager Steve Martin.


DNR documents

Public health documents

Environmental consultant documents, reports & workplans

Madison-Kipp Corporation Documents

Public meetings

10-15-11 – Madison-Kipp Corporation public meeting

Formal public comments


Frequently asked questions

Is my property affected by this environmental contamination?

Public Health-Madison & Dane County, the DHS and the DNR have worked to maintain an open dialogue with all property owners who are potentially at risk for exposure to contaminants, based upon current sampling data. If you live in the area and have concerns about health and safety please contact Public Health-Madison & Dane County.

Is it safe to garden in my backyard if my home is adjacent to Madison-Kipp Corporation?

There is known soil contamination in shallow soils on at least three properties on South Marquette Street. Soils were sampled, and detected concentrations do not exceed established health-based guidelines. Direct contact with these soils poses no apparent public health hazard. However, the DNR has asked MKC to take action to remediate the soils on the three properties and is requiring MKC to conduct additional testing on nearby properties to determine the extent of the problem.

What are the next steps in the investigation and cleanup?

The DNR has completed a draft scope of work, which outlines interim remedial actions the department is requiring from Madison-Kipp to address the current contamination. Results from these actions will be provided to the public. These actions are a step in the department's ongoing efforts to address the health and environmental concerns at this site.



  • Luke Lampo
    Project Manager
    DNR, South Central Region
    3911 Fish Hatchery Rd
    Fitchburg WI 53711

Dane County Public Health

  • John Hausbeck
    Public Health - Madison & Dane County
    210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
    Madison WI 53703

State Department of Health Services

  • Curtis Hedman
    Wisconsin Department of Health Services
    1 West Wilson St
    Madison WI 53701

City of Madison Water Utility

  • Joseph Grande
    City of Madison Water Utility
    119 East Olin Ave
    Madison WI 53713

City of Madison Alderperson

  • Ald. Marsha A. Rummel
    Madison City Council – District 6
    210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
    Room 417
    Madison WI 53703

Madison-Kipp Corporation

  • Mark Meunier
    Madison Kipp Corporation
    201 Waubesa St
    Madison WI 53704