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Final Consent Decree for the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund Site
Sandy beach.
View at the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site. Image credit: NOAA.
Grassy field with wooded area in background
View at the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site. Image credit: NOAA.

MAY 4, 2018 — The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin entered final consent decrees on April 17, 2018 announcing three settlements, with three separate companies, in excess of $4.5 million for natural resource damages at the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site.

The settlements pave the way for Wisconsin’s Sheboygan River community to gain 324 protected acres and improved public recreation access in addition to habitat restoration. NOAA and its co-trustees will jointly manage settlement funds to implement acquisition, preservation, restoration, and access projects as described in the site’s restoration plan.

The settlements resolve claims brought by NOAA and its co-trustees regarding liability for historic industrial discharges of chemicals that caused injury to public natural resources. According to the settlements, Tecumseh Products Co., Thomas Industries, Inc., and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., are liable for historic industrial discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into the Sheboygan River. PCBs and PAHs were identified in river sediments at different locations throughout the Site in sufficient concentrations to cause injury to many types of natural resources, including invertebrates, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. In addition, PCB-contamination has resulted in the loss of recreational fishing services.

The Sheboygan River site encompasses the lower 14 river miles of the Sheboygan River, from Sheboygan Falls downstream to and including the Sheboygan Harbor on Lake Michigan, as well as adjoining floodplain areas.

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