Firms could ‘cash out’ on Fox
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
GREEN BAY - Seven paper companies on the hook for cleanup
of the PCB-contaminated Fox River could write a check
for cleanup costs and walk away under a "cash-out"
provision of the Superfund law that guides the cleanup.
"This is an option," said Ed Lynch, cleanup
project manager for the state Department of Natural Resources.
A negotiated cash-out settlement requires responsible
parties to provide up-front money for cleanup costs for
work that will be conducted by the federal Environmental
The cash-out option is one of several issues ripe for
consideration after regulators in July released a final
Record of Decision. That decision made official a $400
million cleanup plan issued in 2001.
The option could allow the companies to focus on papermaking.
But a cash-out settlement won’t be the EPA’s first choice.
"We really prefer for the companies to do the work,"
said Jim Hahnenberg of the EPA.
Tim Dantoin, a spokesman for the paper companies, declined
Rebecca Katers of the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast
Wisconsin, doesn’t like the cash-out option if there’s
potential it would let the companies off the hook for