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Great Lakes Article:

Shoreline residents hit PCB plan

By Peter Rebhahn
Green Bay Gazette
December 15, 2001

A proposed cleanup plan for the PCB-contaminated Fox River came under more fire Thursday at a meeting of residents of the Green Bay shoreline.

“We have more PCBs in (the lower bay) than in the entire river,” said William Acker, a former paper industry engineer and consultant who is also a bay shoreline resident.

Acker organized Thursday’s meeting at the Eagles Nest Supper Club on the bay shoreline by stuffing fliers into the mailboxes of nearly 400 homes. About 15 people turned out for the meeting.

A cleanup plan released by the state Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency Oct. 2 calls for dredging PCB-contaminated sediment from portions of the 39-mile stretch of river between Little Lake Butte des Morts in Winnebago County to the bay of Green Bay.

But the plan wouldn’t touch contaminated bay sediment.

Data released by the agencies with the cleanup plan show that about 69,000 pounds of PCBs lie in sediment contained in the area from the mouth of the river to Point Au Sable — the first 7.5 miles of the bay.

Acker produced a critical analysis of the cleanup plan as a paid consultant for an environmental group, but said he organized Thursday’s meeting on his own to make shoreline residents aware of the problem they face.

He said his detailed analysis of the plan has raised eyebrows of regulators in the EPA and DNR, who have privately admitted that the data support the need for a partial bay cleanup. Acker declined to identify the regulators.

Some residents at Thursday’s meeting declined to comment on the record, citing worry over property values.

Some expressed concern over health effects not discussed in government agencies’ reports, such as PCB exposure from wading and contaminated sediment washed onto the shoreline.

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