Gallagher, EPA Administrator Highlight Progress in Restoring Fox River
August 12, 2020
Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08) today joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler in announcing the completion of more than two decades of cleanup at the Fox River Superfund Site. The efforts have removed more than 6 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment in the Lower Fox River and are the result of a $1 billion investment by the EPA, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and companies deemed responsible for contamination. Today's announcement came after Gallagher joined EPA officials in touring the progress made at both the superfund site and the Cat Island Restoration Project.
"The Fox River Superfund Site and Cat Island Restoration Project demonstrate that smart investments and sustained commitment to our waterways can have a tremendous impact on the health of our community," said Rep. Gallagher. "The EPA's assistance has been critical to this effort, and I'm glad that Administrator Wheeler had the opportunity to see this success firsthand. Water is central to our way of life in Northeast Wisconsin, and I look forward to continue working to strengthen programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, that will protect this resource for generations to come."
“It was great to celebrate the completion of one of the largest Superfund river sediment cleanup projects ever completed in the United States with Congressman Gallagher along the Fox River. This is a major milestone for Green Bay and for Wisconsin,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Many Superfund sites have been stuck for just too long, and President Trump is committed to getting these lingering sites ‘unstuck.’ This Administration will continue to clean up sites like the Fox River so Americans can know that they are not being exposed to harmful contaminants.”
The Fox River Superfund Site is one of the largest Superfund sediment projects ever completed in the U.S. The cleanup included dredging more than 6.5 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediments across 39 miles of the Lower Fox River. The cleanup also included 275 acres of capping and 780 acres of sand spreading throughout the river to reduce PCB contamination. Long-term monitoring, which will include studying fish tissue, water, and sediment for PCB concentrations, will be done along the entire river by Georgia-Pacific and Glatfelter. All of this work will be done under EPA and DNR oversight.
Rep. Gallagher has been a strong defender of Wisconsin's natural resources in Congress. Through his Save the Bay initiative, he brings together leaders in agriculture, academia, industry, government and nonprofit leaders identify, to share and promote conservation practices to reduce phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment flowing into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. He is also a member of the Great Lakes Task Force and has consistently supported funding for the GLRI since coming to Congress.