The Obama administration has filed a lawsuit against 10 companies and two municipalities to ensure the continued cleanup of Wisconsin’s Lower Fox River and Green Bay Superfund site. The lawsuit, filed jointly by the U.S. government and the state of Wisconsin on Oct. 14, also seeks payment of associated government costs and natural resources damages. All told, the total cleanup costs and damages are expected to exceed $1 billion.

Work continues at the Lower Fox River/Green Bay Site,, which was contaminated with approximately 250,000 lbs of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were released by manufacturers of “carbonless” copy paper from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. More than $300 million in cleanup work has already been completed at the site under a set of partial settlements and an Environmental Protection Agency administrative order.

But according to Wyn Hornbuckler, spokesman for the Dept. of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the parties responsible for the ongoing cleanup work under that order have ”protested,” and, “they have not agreed to take full responsibility for completing the cleanup or paying all damages for injuries to natural resources.” The DOJ estimates that the remaining dredging and capping work at the site would cost an additional $550 million. Moreover, an analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services suggests that an additional $400 million in natural resource restoration work may be needed.

The Oct. 14 lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the responsible parties to continue funding and performing the PCB cleanup without delay, as well as monetary damages for injuries to fish and birds affected by the contamination at the site.

The DOJ also announced that it has reached a proposed settlement—subject to a 30-day public comment period—with one of the newly-named defendants, Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP. In the proposed settlement, Georgia-Pacific would agree that it is liable, along with other the other defendants, for a percentage of the cleanup work, and that it would pay $7 million to reimburse a portion of the government’s unpaid past and future costs.