LA CROSSE, WI - More than 10 years ago, Xcel Energy worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to complete an extensive cleanup of contaminated soil next to the south-side Oktoberfest grounds in La Crosse.
Now, Xcel Energy officials say more work needs to be done.
The DNR said Xcel Energy has submitted a proposal to allow it to do more cleanup on its land near the south-side Oktoberfest grounds.
If it's approved, the Oktoberfest grounds would be included.
By November, Xcel Energy is hoping to rip up the parking lot and remove contaminated soil underneath.
It comes more than a decade after an extensive cleanup process took place on the land right next to it.
"With some additional monitoring on this site, we've identified other areas that need to be removed. More than 90 percent of the identified area is on Xcel Energy's property," said Xcel Energy spokesperson Brian Elwood.
Xcel Energy said the other 10 percent is on the Oktoberfest grounds.
"It will impact the Oktoberfest grounds. That work is expected to start in November. That contamination would be removed at the same time that it's removed from Xcel Energy's property," said Elwood.
Kristine Cleary, who owns the Oktoberfest property, said it's still unclear what the impact will be on the grounds.
"Xcel Energy will be conducting work on the Oktoberfest grounds and their adjacent properties. The land and the properties will be restored by Xcel Energy after remediation has taken place. Xcel Energy is awaiting approval of their plan," said Cleary.
While Xcel Energy must wait for approval from the DNR, officials said the public is not in immediate danger.
"People are not at risk, because the contamination is covered by clean soil. Because contamination does exist there, we want to remove it so there's no potential future risk," said Elwood.
The DNR says Cleary must approve the cleanup effort and that it could impact up to 50 percent of the Oktoberfest grounds.
The DNR plans to have final approval finished in about 10 days.
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