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PCB Dredging Resumes on Fox River in Green Bay

Posted on March 28, 2017

By Paul Srubas,

Early season open water has allowed an early start to dredging on the Fox River.

Work to remove industrial contamination from the river that was scheduled to begin in early April began this week south of the Don A. Tilleman Bridge, according to Scott Stein, cleanup project spokesman.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, used in the making of carbonless copy paper in the 1960s, must be cleaned up by federal court order. Paper companies have hired workers to dredge contaminated soil or cap contaminated areas with gravel. The sediment is being dewatered and taken to a special landfill, and the water is being treated and returned to the river.

Trucks began hauling sediment Wednesday, Stein said.

“Right now, they’re finishing up dredging near the processing facility, doing residual dredging there, and things will continue as they move downstream,” Stein said.

“Every area that’s dredged, we do confirmation sampling to make sure we reach the goal of one part per million, and if not, we do residual dredging,” Stein said. “That’s primarily what’s taking place now.”

Workers expect to remove 545,000 cubic yards of sediment this season, the same as last year, but it depends on the kinds of material making up the river bottom, Stein said. Coarse, rocky material will slow the work, but otherwise workers could get north of Main Street this season, he said.

Divers are working at the dredge site now, so boaters need to pay special attention to marker flags, Stein said. The divers will be assisting in dredging in areas where utilities run beneath the river, Stein said.

Boaters and waterskiers are warned to watch for warning flags: A red rectangle with a white diagonal strip or a blue and white International Code Flag A warn of divers, Stein said. Boaters and skiers are required to stay a minimum of 100 feet away, he said.

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette

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