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Judge moves Fox River cleanup case to trial

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GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A challenge over resuming and who should paying for the be Fox River clean-up, after decades of harmful PCBs were dumped in the waterway, is heading to trial.

Earlier this week in a separate lawsuit, Appleton Papers was found not liable.

However, NCR Corporation continues to fight against resuming dredging, saying they have paid enough and it's time for other paper companies to foot the bill.

One example given in court Thursday was Georgia Pacific.    

Experts called to the stand by Appleton Papers claimed Georgia Pacific was responsible for the majority of the PCB contamination.

Officials indicate especially when it comes to areas that still need to be dredged.

"API's evidence today says that we agree with that position as well. That the pollution in the river is divisible and it is scientifically traced to prove who put what and where and if you can do that, it makes logical sense that you can divide up the cost for it as well," API spokesperson Katherine Querard told FOX 11.

Over $300 million has been spent to this point on the clean-up. NCR attorneys argued the company had dredged and paid more than its share.

But the Department of Justice disagrees. Paperwork filed by the federal government shows the Environmental Protection Agency issued a plan in March for NCR to remove 660,000 cubic yards of sediment around the De Pere Dam and the Canadian National Railroad Bridge.

DOJ representatives argued NCR is just as responsible as everyone else and is required to finish the job. Despite the more than four hours of arguments, no ruling was made.

A trial date is expected to be set within a few weeks.

Even though a judge ruled Appleton Papers is no longer liable for the Fox River clean-up, it could still have to pay.

In 1995 a separate ruling said Appleton Papers was on the hook for 60-percent and NCR 40-percent, of any cleanup expenses exceeding $75 million.

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