Fox River Remedial Action Project
Lower Fox River Remediation and Dredging
Fox River Remedial Action Project - Site History
The Lower Fox River was once described as the hardest working river in the world because of the amount of economic development activities and industry that used the waterway. While the Lower Fox River today is significantly cleaner than it was years ago, sediments (mud) in the river contain various chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) are concerned that PCBs in the sediment are associated with PCBs in fish and, therefore, present an environmental concern.
In June 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) jointly issued a Record of Decision (ROD) selecting a remedy for a part of the Lower Fox River called Operable Units 2 to 5: the stretch of the river from just above the Little Rapids Dam to the mouth of Green Bay. Following the 2003 ROD for the site, a 2004 Administrative Order on Consent was executed between the response agencies (USEPA and WDNR) and Fort James Operating Company (Georgia Pacific) and NCR to design the remedy for the site consistent with the ROD. In implementing this remedial design agreement, additional predesign sampling was performed from above Little Rapids Dam to the mouth of Green Bay. The results of that sampling found elevated concentrations of PCBs in sediments along the west bank of the Lower Fox River, just downstream from the De Pere Dam (the “Phase 1 Project Area,” as defined below). The agencies determined that PCB concentrations in near-surface sediments in this area were sufficiently elevated and required an expedited removal action be performed in advance of the larger remedial action.
The agencies determined that the remedial action for Operable Units 2 to 5 should be conducted in two phases to expedite the response in the Phase 1 Project Area. Phase 1 of the remedial action will address PCB-contaminated sediments in the Phase 1 Project Area. All remaining elements of the remedial action will be implemented in Phase 2.
In March 2006, NCR and U. S. Paper Mills Corporation agreed to perform the expedited removal known as the Phase 1 Remedial Action Project. The two companies hired Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc. (Sevenson), to perform the work. Construction management, sampling and monitoring required for the project will be performed by Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure (Shaw), Anchor Environmental, L.L.C. (Anchor), and Foth Infrastructure and Environment, LLC (Foth).