Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site
Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (email@example.com)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325
Remedial Project Manager
James Hahnenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) 312-353-4213 or 800-621-8431, ext. 34213
(where to view written records)
Appleton Public Library
225 N. Oneida Street
Brown County Library
515 Pine Street
Green Bay, WI
Door County Library
104 S. Fourth Ave.
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Oneida Community Library
201 Elm Street
Oshkosh Public Library
106 Washington Ave.
An Administrative Record, which contains detailed information upon which the selection of the cleanup plan was based, is available at:
DNR Lower Fox River Basin Team
801 E. Walnut Street
Green Bay, WI
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Bureau of Watershed Management
101 S. Webster Street, 3rd Floor Madison, WI
EPA Record Center
77 W. Jackson Blvd., 7th Floor
EPA Contaminated Sediment
Workplan describing the Agencys long-term approaches to assess, reduce and prevent further risks posed by contaminated sediments in many watersheds. The strategy does not discuss the cleanup of specific sites.
The Lower Fox River, located in northeastern Wisconsin, begins at the Menasha and Neenah channels leading from Lake Winnebago and flows northeast for 39 miles where it discharges into Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Approximately 270,000 people live in the communities along the river. The river has 12 dams and includes the highest concentration of pulp and paper mills in the world. During the 1950s and 1960s, these mills routinely used PCBs in their operations which ultimately contaminated the river.(more...)
What are PCBs?
As a result of the recycling of PCB-containing carbonless copy paper, area mill operations discharged PCBs in waste streams, contaminating sediment in the Lower Fox River. The Lower Fox River is the largest source of PCBs to Lake Michigan in the basin. From 1957 to 1971, about 250,000 pounds of PCBs were released, contaminating 11 million tons of sediment. It is estimated that some 160,000 pounds of PCBs have already left the Fox River and entered Green Bay and Lake Michigan. On average, 300 to 500 additional pounds are flushed from the Lower Fox sediment each year. Floods would flush additional thousands of pounds into Green Bay. Once PCBs are released into the bay and Lake Michigan, they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover.
The seventh year of dredging in the Lower Fox River from DePere to Green Bay resumed on March 30. Three hydraulic dredges will be used to remove about 458,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment this year. Similar to previous years, dredging will take place 24 hours per day, at least five days a week through early November (except for holidays). Another 244,000 cubic yards will be addressed through a process referred to as sand capping and covering, which started in 2011.
All dredged sediment is being pumped into the State Street dewatering facility through a pipeline. Then, the water is squeezed out by special equipment called a plate and frame press. The remaining dried sediment is loaded onto trucks to be properly disposed of. Some sediment with higher levels of PCBs will be trucked to Ridgeview Recycling and Disposal Facility in Whitelaw, near Manitowoc. Owned by Waste Management of Wisconsin, this landfill received a permit in 2012 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to accept this type of material. Most of the sediment is taken to Veolia Hickory Meadows Landfill in Chilton.
The entire cleanup is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
To compensate for the loss of historical resources when five historical ships were pulled out of the Lower Fox River just north of the southern “railroad bridge” in Green Bay, NCR Corp. will place an extensive photography exhibit of these artifacts as well as a poster explaining their history in Green Bay’s Neville Public Museum this summer.
The ships were removed under a legal agreement signed by EPA, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the state historic preservation officer, The Neville Public Museum, and NCR Corp.’s contractor.
Last year, EPA completed a status review of the site’s cleanup so far. This type of review is required at least every five years where the cleanup is complete--or ongoing--but hazardous waste remains managed on-site. These reviews are done to ensure that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.
The review included:
- An evaluation of background information
- Cleanup requirements
- Effectiveness of the cleanup and any anticipated future actions
- An analysis of ways for EPA to operate more efficiently
This was the second five-year review for the Lower Fox River site. It details the site progress. The next review is scheduled for 2019.
Three legal agreements for settlements totaling about $55 million were approved in federal court in December 2014. These agreements, or consent decrees, resolve claims against six companies and two municipal sewer system operators for cleanup costs and natural resource damages in the Lower Fox River.
You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
- EPA: Design changes at Little Lake Butte des Morts PCB cleanup approved June 12, 2008
- EPA proposes design changes at Little Lake Butte des Morts PCB cleanup; public meeting Dec. 13, Nov. 21, 2007
- EPA Order: Begin Cleanup on Remaining Stretch of Fox River, Nov. 14, 2007
- Fox River cleanup plan amended to include additional capping, June 28, 2007
- view all News Releases
- EPA Proposes Revisions to Cleanup Plan for Little Lake Butte des Morts (PDF) (8 pp, 527K) November 2007
- EPA Proposes Changes to Current Cleanup Plan (PDF) (8 pp, 493K) November 2006
- view all Fact Sheets
- Memorandum of Agreement (PDF) (9 pp, 176K) September 2013
- Remedial Design Volume 2 of 2 (PDF) (196 pp, 12MB) October 2012
- Appendices are rather large and can be viewed at the repository.
- Risk-Based Disposal Approval (PDF) (30 pp, 900K) Sept. 18, 2012
- Lower Fox River Operable Unit 1 Post-Remediation Executive Summary (PDF) (12 pp, 106K) March 2011
- Interagency Agreement Between EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (13pp, 1.7MB)- April 2010
- Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF) (16 pp, 1.1MB) February 2010
- Criteria Analysis Memorandum (PDF) (19 pp, 3.1MB) February 2010
- Lower Fox River Remedial Design Volume 1 - 60% Design Report
- EPA and Wisconsin DNR released a proposed cleanup plan (PDF) for the Lower Fox River and Green Bay, October 2001
Five Year Review Reports
- Five Year Rivew Report (PDF) (68 pp, 4.9MB) July 2014
- Five Year Review Report, July 2009 (PDF) (54 pp, 1.9MB) July 2009
- Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree With NCR Corp. and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP(PDF) (164pp, 2MB)April 2015.
- Decision and Order Indicating Approval of Consent Decree (PDF) (8 pp, 96 K) December 2014
- Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, United States of America v. P. H. Glatfelter Co. and NCR Corp. (PDF), (38pp, 417K)September 2014
- Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, NCR Corp. et al. v. George A. Whiting Paper Co. et al. (PDF), (57pp, 392K) September 2014
- 924: Notice of Lodging of Three Proposed Consent Decrees (PDF) (7pp, 41K), March 26, 2014
- 924-1: Consent Decree With Cashout Settling Defendants and the State of Wisconsin (PDF) (59 pp, 980K), March 26, 2014
- 924-2: Consent Decree With Kimberly Clark (PDF) (32 pp, 541K), March 26, 2014
- 924-3: Consent Decree With Newpage Wisconsin Inc. (PDF) (30 pp, 617K), March 26, 2014
- Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on Plaintiffs' Fifth Claim for Relief (PDF) (78 pp, 432K) May 1, 2013
- Order Entering Declaratory Judgement and Terms of Injunction Under Fed. R. CIV. P. 65(d) (PDF) (7 pp, 32K) May 1, 2013
- Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (PDF) (24 pp, 379K) Aug. 3, 2012
- Decision and Order on Defendants' Liability (PDF) (8 pp, 37K) Nov. 23, 2012
- Decision and Order on the Propriety of the Remedy (PDF) (13 pp, 172K) Nov. 21, 2012
- Decision and Order (PDF) (9 pp, 48K) Oct. 4, 2012
- Decision and Order (PDF) (9 pp, 48K) Oct. 4, 2012
- Order Denying Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (PDF) (1 pg, 37K) May 4, 2012
- Decision Granting Preliminary Injunction (PDF) (19 pp, 140K) April 27, 2012
- Reply Brief (PDF) (28 pp, 134K) April 10, 2012
- Expedited Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (PDF) (5 pp, 55K) March 19, 2012
- Brief in Support of United States Expedited Motion (PDF) (25 pp, 75K) March 19, 2012
- Consent Decree with Brown County and the City of Greenbay (PDF) December 2010 (44 pp, 408K)
- Transcript of the December 13, 2007 public meeting on the Lower Fox River/ Green Bay Little Lake Butte des Morts site Proposed Plan (PDF) (49 pp, 324K)