- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - Despite a significant drop, levels of PCBs found in fish and sediment in Sheboygan’s river and harbor are still unacceptable, a federal report found.

Leaders and government officials said such results are not a surprise so soon after completion of a multi-million dollar cleanup effort, Sheboygan Press Media reported (https://shebpr.es/ZBYQ1Y ).

“I think it’s probably too early to see the change, because it takes awhile for the wildlife to absorb that,” Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen said.

The five-year Environmental Protection Agency review is the second for the superfund site. It found significant decreases in the levels of PCBs in the upper Sheboygan River and harbor, but sediment and fish tissue levels still pose unacceptable risks.

Dredging has helped decrease levels in sediment. The levels in fish depend where the samples were taken and whether the fish were sport fish or bottom feeders. Levels in sport fish decreased from 2008 while levels in adult carp stayed about the same.

The area was contaminated by PCBs, a probable carcinogen, from a die-cast plant in Sheboygan Falls run by Tecumsah Products Co. A separate company hired by Tecumsah is leading dredging and cleanup efforts.

Rick Nagle, assistant regional counsel for the EPA, said the site is on a 30-year track to reach safe PCB levels and will probably get there earlier, but the report shows “we’re not there yet.”

The report is separate from an attempt to get federal officials to lift an impairment designation for the river as a result of cleanup efforts by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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Information from: Sheboygan Press Media, https://www.sheboygan-press.com

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