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EPA proposes design changes at Little Lake Butte des Morts PCB cleanup; public meeting Dec. 13


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have proposed a series of cleanup design changes at an ongoing cleanup of PCB-contaminated sediment in Appleton, Wis.’s Little Lake Butte des Morts.

A public comment period runs Nov. 26 through Jan. 31, 2008. Comments will be accepted at a public meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13, at Lawrence University’s Youngchild Hall, Room 121, 421 E. College Ave., Appleton.

Little Lake Butte des Morts is known as Operable Unit 1 of the Lower Fox River cleanup effort, which is a proposed Superfund National Priorities List site. Cleanup work began at the lake in 2004 and is expected to continue into 2009. The proposed changes all involve work that has yet to be completed. Operable Units 2 through 5 include the stretch of the river from Appleton to Green Bay.

EPA and WDNR are proposing cleanup changes based on new technical information collected since the original 2002 cleanup decision for Little Lake Butte des Morts. The proposed plan is equally protective of human health and the environment and will take less time to complete, create less noise and truck traffic. It is also easier to implement because it uses a combination of dredging, sand covers and engineered capping in areas where dredging would be extremely difficult.

Both the original plan and the proposed revisions set a cleanup goal of 0.25 parts per million for average PCB levels in river sediment. Different approaches would be used to address varying levels of contamination. These proposed changes include:

* Dredging 400,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in areas with average PCB levels over 10 ppm.
* Placing a 13-inch engineered cap over 325,000 cubic yards of undredged sediment with average PCB levels between 2 and 10 ppm.
* Placing a 6-inch sand cover over 77 cubic yards of undredged sediment with average PCB levels between 1.4 and 2 ppm.
* Placing a 3-inch sand cover over 100,000 cubic yards of undredged sediment with PCB levels between 1 and 1.4 ppm.
* Sampling after dredging activities are complete and either redredging or placing a 13-inch cap in areas where PCBs remain at levels over 5 ppm.
* Long-term monitoring and additional corrective action, if needed.


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