USA: Fox River Dredging Project to Stay on Course for 2012 ?
There have been concerns that the Fox River Cleanup project might be delayed until a federal court figures out who will cover the costs for the remaining dredging.
The legal struggle has been taken by NCR Corp. and Appleton Papers Inc., the companies that formed a limited partnership and paid for the first three years of the cleanup, at an estimated $300 million, attempting to get other companies and municipalities to pick up some of the cost. The case is anticipated to go to trial in February while remaining in U.S. District Court in Green Bay.
Although the cleanup efforts have been ahead of schedule, the suit has generated a concern of whether the project will stay on course for 2012. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have been urged to ensure there is no further delay in the project.
The pollution extremely damaged fish and wildlife habitats affecting the tourism industry therefore the government expects to gather natural resources damages from liable companies. NCR and API were named by the government agencies as the most culpable companies due to the roles they had in the polluting. According to the companies the cost should be shared with other companies and municipalities which were dumping recycled waste into the river contributing to the pollution.
The decision on who pays the river cleanup in the future will be reached by the U.S. District Judge William Griesbach upon hearing arguments in a February trial. DNR officials have stated that the entire project value could exceed $1 billion however the initial anticipation of the dredging costs was $750 million for the period of the last nine years.
The legal process must take its course, since any further delay will only extend the damage preventing the Fox River to return to a healthy level it was notable for prior to all industry damages.
Dredging Today Staff, November 23, 2011; Image: foxrivercleanup