Public can comment on Fox River cleanup settlement plan

Scales of justice
WLUK file photo.

The public comment period has started for a proposed $56 million settlement between the federal government and multiple paper companies regarding Fox River cleanup.

The federal register notice was published Tuesday. The public comment period ends April 30. A federal judge must review the comments before approving the settlement.

Comments by mail should be addressed to:
Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ–ENRD
P.O. Box 7611
Washington, DC 20044-7611

Comments by email should be addressed to:
pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov

Comments should refer to: “United States and the State of Wisconsin v. NCR Corp., et al., D.J. Ref. No. 90-11-2-1045/3.”

Under the terms of the proposal:

* The City of Appleton, CBC Coating Inc., Menasha Corporation, the Neenah-Menasha Sewerage Commission, U.S. Paper Mills Corporation, and WTM I Company would would pay a total of $54 million toward the response costs and natural resource damages associated with the Site. The State would pay an additional $100,000 to resolve its own potential CERCLA liability, as alleged in certain counterclaims asserted by some of the defendants in this case.

The $54 million would be split in this way: $14,700,000 by U.S. Paper Mills Corporation $13,700,000 by Menasha Corporation $12,200,000 by WTM I Company $5,200,000 by the City of Appleton $5,200,000 by the Neenah-Menasha Sewerage Commission $3,000,000 by CBC Coating, Inc.

* The State would pay an additional $100,000 to resolve its own potential CERCLA liability, as alleged in certain counterclaims asserted by some of the defendants in this case.

* In addition, Kimberly-Clark would pay the United States and the State a total of $1,350,000 under this settlement.

* Also, NewPage, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, would grant the federal government claims totaling up to $1,157,254, that would be paid as allowed through that action.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the money will be used in three ways:

* Slightly more than $45.9 million would be applied toward natural resource damages.

* Slightly more than $8 million would be paid into a segregated fund managed by the State to defray future costs that the State will continue to incur in overseeing ongoing cleanup work by non-settlers.

* Slightly less than $1.6 million would be paid into a Site-specific Superfund Special Account as partial reimbursement of past and future costs incurred by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The proposed settlement does not include three defendants in the case: NCR Corp., Georgia-Pacific and P.H. Glatfelter.

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