PCB Clean-Up May Result in Incidental Taking of Fish From Calumet County Creek

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MADISON – Activities associated with the cleanup of PCBs in Pine Creek in Calumet County, may result in the “incidental taking” of a fish listed as a state threatened species under an authorization the Department of Natural Resources is proposing for the project.

TRC Environmental Corporation plans to remove poly-chlorinated biphenyl contaminated overbank soil and in-channel sediment along 4.1 miles of Pine Creek northeast of New Holstein, between Danes Road and Quarry Road. Previous soil and sediment investigations have identified areas of Pine Creek with total PCB concentrations requiring removal according to US Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The proposed work may result in the incidental taking of some state threatened greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi). Although potential spawning habitat exists in Pine Creek within the project boundary, the habitat in the approximately 4-mile long stretch of the proposed work area is not critical to greater redhorse within this basin or on a statewide basis. DNR staff determined that the conservation measures detailed in TRC Environmental Corporation’s conservation plan for the project will minimize impacts to this species, the taking is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or recovery of the state population of the greater redhorse or the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part; and the action will benefit the public safety that justifies the action.

Excavation will be accomplished using a track-mounted backhoe or similar heavy equipment. In-channel sediment will be dry-excavated through the use of temporary base flow diversions in Pince Creek. Approximately 27,200 cubic yards of soil will be removed from overbank locations, covering an area of approximately 23.3 acres. Approximately 9,200 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from in-channel locations, covering an additional area of approximately 8.6 acres. Clearing and grubbing outside of the excavation areas for construction equipment traffic is estimated to cover an additional 12.6 acres. This is the second phase of this multi-phase project, which includes Hayton Millpond, Pine Creek, Jordan Creek and agricultural drainage ditches. The current phase also includes refurbishment of one deteriorated creek crossing.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment, information on the greater redhorse, and conservation plan are available on the Incidental Take page of the DNR Web site or upon request from Rori Paloski, Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources, 101 South Webster, Madison, WI 53707, (608) 264-6040. Public comments will be taken through May 22, 2008 and should be sent to Ms. Paloski at the above address.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Rori Paloski, 608-264-6040