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Garys Corner of Tosa

Since moving to the 4th district in 1998 my wife and I have witnessed many big changes in our neighborhood. More big changes loom over us and I will be writing about them here.

Good comments, but some I've heard before.

Foundry pollution Wauwatosa developments apartments homes houses senior living condo health safety

Lets see I got a few comments supporting the foundry it looks like.  But none regarding the issue is the foundry holding up redevelopment around it, and is the pollution dangerous to our health?

I guess I can understand the commenter's being anonymous.  I'm not saying any could work for Grede or they they had a business relationship with Grede although one said he'd had in the past.  It does make it easier to be wrong too.

I want to talk about zoning.  Everyone in Tosa is subject to it.  Well maybe everyone.  Didn't I hear about a guy on 68th street south of State St. having to rip down a front porch because he built it with no Tosa building permit?  Properties built before the zoning was created are still subject to it.  That's why you don't see any functioning out houses in backyards in Tosa.

Grede is zoned conditional use.  But under the cities codes is it really a conditional use?  I've been told by an attorney that the Liberty foundry is actually a use that is not permitted in the district in which it is located, but it's grandfathered.  And it's operation may lawfully continued under the restrictions of 24.50.030.  Anyone of the area businesses who have attorneys might not have thought of these things so pay attention.  24.51.020 (re conditional use) the standards at 1,2,and 3 are of interest. 

Since 1972 has Grede Liberty foundry extended, enlarged, reconstructed, or structurally altered any building, bag house, stack, equipment on the roofs, others, and if so could the cost of such work equal 50% of the 1997 value (of the structure) on structural repairs and alterations?

Has Grede violated 24.50.030, either 1 or 2?   Come on there are tons of attorneys in Tosa lets hear from you.  Shouldn't Wauwatosa enforce 24.50.030.  Explain this for us because I'm wondering back to when the city shelved my complaint in March of 2003.  Myself and other area residents went to committee meetings and spoke to the common council.  Alderman Sullivan now Senator Sullivan chaired one of the committees and acted very concerned.  Well that is until the finally meeting where home owners got up and pour their guts out to the committee members who then with out discussing it moved to shelve the matter, got up and walked out on us without explanation!

Half the people who wanted to speak had to go home and put children to bed.  They'd put our matter at the end of the list , and it gotten late.  One 90 year old woman spoke how over 50 years she saw her woman friends on her street die of cancer.  Her friend across the street past away from cancer she said.  The woman's daughter then moved back into her childhood home, and she also died of cancer.  The 90 some year old woman who'd lived there for 50 years thought that it was the women being home all day while the men worked that caused the lop sided rate of cancer in her neighbors.  A message to city hall, titles are meaningless to me.  You have to earn my respect.  She deserved more from that committee.

In January 2003 myself and 3 others went to city hall and asked city officials to enforce the zoning codes on Grede.  We came armed with information that in 1991 Grede had built a building that houses a whole new operation (the so called green sand) and did so without permission from the city.  The WDNR didn't say you must build this.  It wasn't built to capture the air pollution they already made.  In fact in order to build and add this to their arsenal they had to get a WDNR permit to construct a polluting process.  Other WDNR permits would be required later after it was finished.  It was our contention that like the 68th street front porch it should be torn down.  So in January of 2003 we asked that Grede apply for permission under it's zoning codes to build that building.  If after going through all the committees the city denied the permit Grede not be allowed to use that building or its contents.

Now go back to what I said in last weeks bogg I mean blog.  For some reason Alderman McBride has made comments that the foundry will remain open for 5 to ten years or so.  How does he know that?  In 2003 did the then city officials make a pact with the devil using the information in the last paragraph to force the foundry to close?  Did the city give Grede a time line?  Does development around the foundry play apart?  If condo's or senior housing goes up does it mean the foundry comes down?  How else could anyone live so close?

Where is Senator Sullivan?  His office hasn't returned my calls about Grede.  It's my fault though.  I give no respect and get none.  But still then the community suffers.  You folks should expect more from the Senator then you do me. He was a lawyer, alderman, and now a Senator.  I'm just a high school drop out with a GED I don't deserve.  Senator please consider the health and happiness of the people who live around Grede.  If you are really a friend to the working class make it safer for them and us.  If the new owners of this foundry really need a foundry like Liberty let them build a new modern foundry some where else.  One thats in a safer location.  A modern foundry would be safer for the men and women who work in it.  If they really need it?

Hey spell check didn't native Americans live in this valley before Grede.  I'm sure they'd like to comment on your comment.  And where did you get your information that educated people don't fear getting cancer from pollution?  Also you said it's not like all the employees at Grede have cancer.  Can you tell me how many are at risk?  Can you tell me this how many past employees have or died of cancer, or will?

Rottieguy I hope you do get a job at the foundry.  No honest I really do.  And you commented about the unhappy people living with the noise of Mitchell Field.  As a kid I lived on Mangold near 27th st in Milwaukee.  The planes flew over all the time and it was loud.  Many of the people living closer to the air port got federal money to help add things to their homes to make it quieter after the airports expansion made it louder.  Is that what you were writing about?

Marplot wanted to know about my use of welding helmet safety equipment.  He called it state of the art equipment and such.  Well in my art studio I used a 3M respirator made for welding fumes. I keep the over head door open for ventilation as well as the windows when it warm enough.  I MIG weld and it uses a CO2 Argon gas with a solid .025 wire.  At the factory where I retired from I wore a similar 3M respirator for just walking around the shop.  But for the last 20 yrs while welding I wore a $300 and then a $500 fresh air welding helmet.  It's air compressed by a class D air compressor and dried before it gets to my air hose.  A little device on my belt cooled or heated the air up to 45 degrees.  In the summer it was a life saver.  The welding process at the factory was mostly 3/32 CO2 flux core wire.  I did carbon air arc, and grinding.  To be honest during many shifts you couldn't see the writing on the over head crane on the other end of the building because of the welding smoking.  I fought for better equipment there too.  I called OSHA on my employer twice over my helmets and that smoke removal equipment should have filters.

Tosaoutsider I find your comment I don't know sad I guess.  Did you paint or fix anything in your house since you bought it?  You wanted to make it better right.  It doesn't matter if it's the outside or inside its natural to want to make it better.  You should want to make your environment better too.  Why stop at paint or new siding.  The foundry doesn't want to spend money on pollution control equipment voluntarily.  They say it costs too much.  Tough.  Don't settle for what Grede wants to get away with.  You should want more for yourself dude.  And what advantages are there to living in your home that out ways a longer healthier life.  I don't think you struck gold in your backyard.

Also Tosaoutsider I didn't know this part of Tosa was so polluted.  Grede foundry looked modern with all the pipes and stuff on the roofs.  We had to live in a low income neighborhood for 10 years down wind of a foundry in Racine before we moved here.  It was a high crime area even without the foundries pollution.  Unfortunately poor neighborhoods are know to have higher pollution amounts.  But dude this is Wauwatosa right.  It used to have an (air) of classiness.  (I'll get comments on that I know it).  Come and sit down wind in my front yard while Grede's production line is operating.  That's really classy.  The neighborhoods around Grede look so well off.  I know many professionals including Senators, lawyers, judges, doctors live near by.  So why should we have feared Grede when we bought our house?  Who would of thought that Wauwatosa would have so much in common with a poor low income neighborhood in Racine. 

Rottieguy commented the foundry smelled like jobs.   Actually the green sand you spoke of in your comment doesn't smell like jobs at all.  The green sand process I believe is the one which uses chemicals such as Dimethylethylamine (DMEA) for short.  The WDNR engineer who inspects the foundry told me years ago that three drops of DMEA could stink up the entire county stadium.  That would be the old one with out the roof.  At the time they had a permit to use 2600 pounds of DMEA a month.  I saw some WDNR records where it said they have a permit for 5400 pounds a month so I'm not sure what it is at present.  From what I read DMEA is 100% volatile organic chemical or VOC.  And rottieguy fresh it smells like cat urine and ammonia not jobs for christ sakes.  For the CDC health warning regarding DMEA go to this link.

Hi Gary Kandziora here contacting as many people as I can regarding the pollution.  I have the ear of a different EPA guy in the Air Toxics department.  I’m working hard to get something to happen again.  It’s important that I get as many people as I can to call in “air pollution complaints to the DNR.

Most important is calling the EPA or emailing him.  Contacting Senator Kohl’s office will get the EPA to sit up straighter too.

My is Gary Kandziora 6124 West Martin Dr.




Mike Griffin  WDNR, in Milwaukee office.  This gentleman is assigned to inspect the foundry and respond to complaints.

He’ll tell you the foundry is in compliance.  One important thing is the foundry supplies test results and other info to the WDNR to determine if they are in compliance.  Through the years they have been found not to be in compliance.  It’s the fox guarding the hen house.  The foundry being the hen house and the fox.

He’ll record any complaints as odor complaints.  I make air pollution complaints stating I’m worried about the health effects of the air pollution, but adding yes the pollution smells bad.  I ask my complaint not be down sized as a simple odor complaint.

OFC.  414-263-8554

CELL  414-750-0737



George Bollweg of the EPA.  He’s in an office in Chicago IL.   He’s who I’ve turned too since not getting anywhere with the DNR.  The EPA pays the WDNR federal funds to enforce the clean air act.  George is in the Air Toxics Department.  Recently I asked the EPA if the ambient air at my house was safe to breath and that question could not be answered yes or no.  Now it’s Mr. Bollweg’s job to answer that question for us.  Ask him to do so.

1-800-621-8431    ask for George Bollweg.  Don’t let operator tell you to call the DNR, sometimes the operator tries that.  You want George Bollweg.

His direct number is 312-353-5598


U.S. Senator Kohl.  We need the Senator because it gets the EPA to sit up straight and pay attention.  His person to contact is in Madison is Kim Cates. 

A Milwaukee number is 414-224-4451.  Calling this number is a way to get Kim to call you back.  Say you want to discuss a environmental issue in Wauwatosa. 

Madison Number is 608-264-5338



Here’s a link to something you folks being outdoors so often might be interested.  One of the major sources of pollution is DMEA and I believe Grede may have a permit to use 5400 pounds a month.



Next is a WI State statue that says the foundry can’t allow the “odor” of the pollution to foul our air.  The DNR won’t enforce this!  The State can sue Grede to stop the objectionable odor.  Can you see a judge sitting down wind of the foundry while they are pouring iron causing the worse of the pollution.  Or maybe compress some Grede air pollution and let it go in the court room?  Tough love.


 (1), Register, December, 1995, No. 480, eff. 1−1−96.

NR 429.03 Malodorous emissions. (1) GENERAL LIMITATIONS.

No person may cause, allow or permit emission into the

ambient air of any substance or combination of substances in such

quantities that an objectionable odor is determined to result unless

preventive measures satisfactory to the department are taken to

abate or control such emission.

(2) OBJECTIONABLE ODOR TESTS. An odor shall be deemed

objectionable when either or both of the following tests are met:

(a) Upon decision resulting from investigation by the department,

based upon the nature, intensity, frequency and duration of

the odor as well as the type of area involved and other pertinent


(b) Or when 60% of a random sample of persons exposed to

the odor in their place of residence or employment, other than

employment at the odor source, claim it to be objectionable and

the nature, intensity, frequency and duration of the odor are considered.


control requirements may include but are not limited to:

(a) Use of catalytic incinerators, after burners, scrubbers,

adsorbers, absorbers or other methods approved by the department

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