Joint Local Government Resolution Supporting Fox River PCB Cleanup Settlement

WHEREAS, The Fox River has been an economic force in our region, helping to build communities and industries that are the building blocks for economy; and

WHEREAS, industrial utilization of the Fox River has involved discharge of PCBs as an unintended byproduct of carbonless copy paper production and early recycling efforts; and

WHEREAS, PCB contamination and its potential impact on human health and the environment must be addressed in a responsible fashion by the state and federal environmental agencies, as well as by the Paper Mills which discharged the PCBs from their facilities; and

WHEREAS, the DNR and the Paper Mills are to be praised for reaching agreement to commence two demonstration projects and for the Mills' $10 million contribution to work on the PCB problem, and EPA and DNR are to be commended for funding and starting the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS); and

WHEREAS, U.S. EPA announced in the summer of 1997 that it intends to designate the Lower Fox River as a Superfund site (by placing the Lower Fox River on the National Priorities List, or NPL), and the DNR, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tribes, in their role as trustees, are continuing work on a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)); and

WHEREAS, the local governments supporting this joint resolution recognize that unless the EPA, DNR, and the Paper Mills reach a settlement regarding the nature of the cleanup and its funding, the Lower Fox River will be designated as a Superfund site and placed on the National Priorities List;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the local governments supporting his joint resolution call upon the EPA, DNR, and the Paper Mills to vigorously pursue negotiations to agree on a PCB cleanup that will address environmental and health concerns in a cost-effective manner, while protecting the local economy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the DNR and the Paper Mills must promptly settle their differences regarding the PCB removal demonstration projects, that those projects should proceed expeditiously to completion in 1998 if at all possible, and that the information gathered from the demonstration projects must be studied and used by DNR and EPA in making any final decisions regarding remedial actions needed to address PCBs in the Fox River.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, based upon the results of the demonstration projects and the RI/FS, the EPA, DNR, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tribes and the Paper Mills should make significant proposals to each other in order to resolve their differences and achieve an agreed PCB cleanup and resolution of natural resource damages that will address environmental and health concerns in a cost-effective manner, while protecting the local economy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, such efforts should result in avoiding Superfund listing for the Lower Fox River, and we believe Superfund listing should be avoided if at all possible because of the protracted and highly expensive litigation that listing would trigger, because listing is not necessary to achieve PCB cleanup, and because listing clearly would be harmful to the economy and future of our region; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the local governments supporting this joint resolution will work cooperatively with the EPA, DNR, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tribes and the Paper Mills to achieve the goals set forth in this Resolution.

 

Adopted by Appleton Common Council July 1, 1998

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