Panel Discussion: Ashland MGP Superfund Remediation – Adaptive Management Approach


Panel Discussion: Ashland MGP Superfund Remediation – Adaptive Management Approach

Moderator: Terry Coss (Xcel Energy)

Jamie Dunn (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
Ken Aukerman (Foth)
Brad Hay (Envirocon, Inc.)
Eric Ealy (Xcel Energy)
Tyler Lee (J.F. Brennan Company, Inc.)

Panel Description:

Complex sites – like MGPs – require an adaptive management approach.  Site investigation, feasibility studies, remedial designs and action plans are all iterative and are subject to change based on site conditions.    Regulatory, administrative and engineering aspects associated with those changes take considerable time and resources. Through the use of an adaptive management approach by all parties with open communication defined a decision-making model, progress on the project has been maintained.  This model keeps us on schedule reducing cost and accelerating progress throughout various phases of the remedial action.

This communication/decision model is based on open communication, data sharing and trust between the Responsible Party, Consultants and Regulators.  Although strained at times, changes can be made at the lowest level allowing for quicker implementation.  In order for this model to be successful, all parties need to “buy in” to the process.

The site has been investigated since 1989 with remedial activities starting in 2014.  Upland soil remediation is complete.  A pilot test of wet dredge technologies was successfully completed in 2016 with full scale wet dredge underway for 2017.

Through investigation, remedial design and implementation due to the site complexities and location (adjacent to a school and residential area as well as Lake Superior), many challenges have been encountered.  Through the use of an adaptive management approach by all parties and close communication following the decision-making model, progress on the project has been maintained.  The model has helped earn the trust of the community.  This model keeps the project on schedule reducing cost and ensuring progress through out various phases of the remedial action.

The panel made up of the people on the ground will discuss the process we have gone through during the progress of site remediation including areas of disagreement as well as success.


Panelist Bios:

Jamie Dunn       

Mr. Dunn joined the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 1988 as a hydrogeologist.  He has over 25 years of experience in the investigation, remediation and redevelopment of manufactured gas plants (MGPs). Over the past 25 years he has managed the assessment, investigation, remediation and redevelopment on hundreds of contaminated properties in Wisconsin.  He is currently responsible for and acts as project manager for the State of Wisconsin for a Superfund site in Ashland, Wisconsin. MGP historical background is an area that Mr. Dunn has spent much time on and believes that a real understanding of the historical operations of the specific MGP is instrumental in the efficient and effective investigation, remediation and redevelopment of that MGP.

Ken Aukerman      

Mr. Aukerman has 20 years of experience in permitting, design construction and documentation of environmental restoration and industrial projects.  He has managed over $100 million in remedial, process, construction and major facility expansion projects.  Ken has extensive experience in contract administration, scheduling, and contract negotiations.

Brad Hay

Mr. Hay has 30 years’ experience in the environmental consulting and remedial construction markets. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine and a MBA from Kennesaw State University, Georgia, he has managed a variety of projects around the country, including Superfund site s as well as projects for DOT, DOE and DOD.. More specific, he managed the successful completion of seven MGP project in Georgia for Atlanta Gas Light and Georgia Power. In terms of the Ashland Superfund site, he has managed the Phase 1 Uplands project (2014) which included excavation of 91,000 tons of impacted materials with 72,000 tons thermal treated and used for backfill. This project also included the construction of a Long-term Groundwater Treatment Plant  and one year O&M (2016 & 2017) with 41 pumping centers and conveyance systems (2015). Additionally, he managed the Breakwater construction phase (2015) as well as Wet Dredge & Extended Pilot project (2016). Mr. Hay is currently managing the Full-scale Wet Dredge project encompassing nearly 17 acres and estimated volume of 125,000 cys.

Eric Ealy

To Be Added

Tyler Lee

Tyler Lee is a senior project manager for JF Brennan Company who has over 10 years of experience in large scale complex water based environmental remediation projects.  Tyler has a bachelor’s of science in Civil Engineering from University of Wisconsin – Platteville.




To view the full Agenda for MGP 2017 view this link:

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