EPA Reviews PCB landfill permit - comment period begins

Environmental Issues - August 7, 2006

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 is accepting written comments on a draft permit that would allow Georgia-Pacific's Fort James Operating Co to use a new PCB disposal area within an existing industrial waste landfill on the west side of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

If the permit is approved, the landfill will be able to accept additional PCB-contaminated sediment dredged from the Lower Fox River.

The public comment period closes September 12th and a public meeting will be held at 7pm, Wednesday, August 23rd, at the Brown County Library, 515 Pine St.

Comments may be provided in person at the meeting, via e-mail sent to r5tsca@epa.gov, or using a form included in a fact sheet that is being sent to more than 3,000 area residents, officials and community leaders.

The fact sheet and other information about the Lower Fox River site is also available at www.epa.gov/region5/sites/foxriver.

PCB-contaminated sediment in the river is potentially harmful to aquatic life and people as it rises in the food chain. EPA decided in its 2002 and 2003 cleanup plans that landfill disposal is the safest and most cost-effective means of dealing with dredged sediment.

Georgia-Pacific is among a group of potentially responsible companies working with EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to address PCB contamination in the river.

Before deciding on whether to approve the landfill, EPA will consider all comments received. Most helpful are comments that provide new information or evaluate the technical merits of EPA's draft permit.

The EPA could issue a permit, decide not to allow use of a newly constructed disposal area (a 'cell'), or add conditions to the permit to improve the cell's performance or safety.

If EPA decides to grant the permit, the Agency will provide a written response to comments in a document called a responsiveness summary.

The EPA is aware that some residents would like the Agency to consider other options for the dredged sediment. EPA and WDNR thoroughly evaluated other options prior to issuing the cleanup plan and determined landfilling was the best option. This being the case, the EPA is not considering other disposal alternatives at this time. The EPA can only consider those disposal sites for which it has received an application.

Residents with questions about the application review process and public comment period or who wish to request special accommodations at the meeting, may contact Community Involvement Coordinator Susan Pastor, (800) 621-8431, Ext 31325 (business hours) or pastor.susan@epa.gov.

For more information on the Lower Fox River Cleanup visit http://epa.gov/region5/sites/foxriver/.

 

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