EPA cleanup settlement in WI [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: EPA cleanup settlement in WI

06-25-2002, 08:34 AM

The Justice Department announced that a settlement filed this
week will require the Fort James Operating Company to preserve
more than 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat in northeastern
Wisconsin and pay an additional $8.5 million for other
restoration projects. The settlement provides compensation for
injuries to natural resources caused by widespread
polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the Fox River and
the Green Bay.

In addition to its payments for restoration projects, Fort James
will pay $1.6 million to help offset natural resource damage
assessment costs and other costs incurred by the United States
and the state of Wisconsin, as provided by the Superfund law.

Fort James is a subsidiary of Georgia Pacific Corporation and is
one of several companies responsible for the PCB contamination.
Fort James is the first of the companies to fully resolve its
natural resource damage liability. A December 2001 agreement with
Appleton Papers Inc. and NCR Corporation has already provided $20
million in interim funding for natural resource restoration
projects in the Green Bay watershed, but that agreement did not
settle those companies' ultimate liability for natural resource

PCBs were discharged to the Fox River by several Fox River Valley
paper mills that produced and processed PCB-containing
"carbonless" copy paper from the 1950s through at least the early
1970s. The PCBs contaminated the sediments in the Fox River and
in the Green Bay, and continue to harm wildlife and other natural
resources in the area, including fish and birds. For example,
PCBs are routinely found in fish in those bodies of water, and
health-based fish consumption advisories limit the type and
amount of fish from the area that can safely be eaten.

The settlement with Fort James was reached through negotiations
conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Wisconsin
Department of Justice, as well as the responsible Federal, State
and Tribal natural resource trustees, including the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and the Menominee Indian
Tribe of Wisconsin. The trustees have reviewed and approved the
specific restoration projects described in the settlement
agreement filed with the court, and will jointly select future
projects to be funded with additional money available under the

The natural resource damages settlement does not resolve Fort
James' liability for PCB cleanup. In October 2001, the
Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources released a cleanup proposal calling for
dredging and offsite disposal of contaminated Fox River sediments
coupled with monitored natural recovery in portions of the River
and in Green Bay. The agencies are currently reviewing the public
comments they have received.

This week's settlement agreement was filed with the U.S. District
Court in Milwaukee and is subject to a 30-day public comment

07-04-2002, 10:26 AM
Refreshing news Marvin! It won't get the carcinogens out of the food chain but it may raise consciousness in society and big business that you can't trash resources for the sake of money and get away with it.