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Polluters Will Pay for Fox River Cleanup

Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that a federal judge has approved a settlement to ensure that all future costs related to the decades-long contamination of the Fox River will be paid by the responsible parties. “Generations of Wisconsinites have been affected by the contamination of the Fox River,” said Kaul. “This settlement ensures that final cleanup will be fully funded by those who contaminated the Fox River, and not taxpayers.” From the mid 1950s until 1971, river sediments were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), discharged by paper companies that made and recycled “carbonless” copy paper containing PCBs. Chief Judge William Griesbach of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin approved a settlement that ensures all future costs related to this contamination will be paid by the parties responsible for the contamination. This settlement resolves all pending state litigation regarding the remediation and natural-resource damages of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay. The agreement further obligates three of the original responsible corporate parties – NCR Corporation, P.H. Glatfelter Company and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products – to cover all future costs, rather than the state. The remediation costs are expected to exceed $1.2 billion.