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Fox River cleanup plan amended to include additional capping

Release Date: 06/28/2007
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (EPA) William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov (WDNR) Greg Swanson, 608-264-6024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA109

CHICAGO (June 28, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources today announced a modification to the cleanup plan for PCB-contaminated sediment in Wisconsin's Lower Fox River.

The modification, called a Record of Decision Amendment, builds on the original 2003 plan for Operable Units 2 - 5, incorporating new data and taking advantage of the benefits of both dredging and engineered capping to minimize further PCB-contamination impacts on the river system. Though the modification includes more capping than originally planned, the Fox River remains the largest PCB dredging project ever proposed.

The new plan will result in lower PCB concentrations after cleanup, and will be completed sooner than the original plan. The plan also allows for more customized cleanup activities to meet the specific conditions of much smaller areas. The agencies believe the amended plan will also be more cost-effective while maintaining protection of human health and the environment.

The engineered caps will range from 13 to 33 inches thick, combining layers of sand and large stones. The caps are extremely durable as well, designed to remain stable though major floods, winter ice and boat propeller wash.

A comment period on the proposed cleanup plan revisions closed in January. EPA received approximately 600 comments. A public meeting attended by nearly 300 people was held in December.

More information on the Fox River cleanup is posted at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/foxriver.

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