DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) - Dredging officially started up once again on the Fox River Monday.
Last month, a judge ruled Appleton Papers is no longer directly responsible for the PCB cleanup. A federal judge also ruled that NCR corporation must remove a minimum of 660,000 cubic yards of sediment, and that the harm caused by toxic PCB contamination cannot reasonably be divided among the companies responsible for them. So, NCR will continue the work going into this summer.
A clean Fox River is something a lot of outdoor enthusiasts have been waiting years to enjoy.
Ryan Rasmussen has been fishing on the Fox River for years. But due to the PCB contamination, it's just for sport.
"We just have to throw back fish," he said. "We have to clean the boat off good."
But with dredging once again underway, Rasmussen thinks one day he can do more than just catch and release.
"I just hope that the water gets cleaned up and the fish populations get better and the fish stay healthy and someday people can actually eat from here and enjoy everything about the river," added Rasmussen.
Local activists are also hopeful, but many wonder if it's too little, too late. Rebecca Katers has been following this contamination case for years.
"We hope it will happen," said Katers. "We're concerned about how the caps will hold over time and we wish they were dredging more of it out."
But she expects a big improvement if the dredging continues.
"If the project proceeds smoothly," added Katers.
"It would be nice to just have a nice looking river going through the city compared to how it is and how it's known for," Sheri Norton said.
Dredges will run 24 hours a day and five days a week at least through November.