A federal judge in Green Bay has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to make 20 companies and governmental units share in the massive costs of cleaning up the lower Fox River.
U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled Wednesday that Appleton Papers Inc. and NCR Corp. were the parties most responsible for the flow of PCBs into the river during the late 1960s. That was during the production peak of NCR's carbonless copy paper, which was made by Appleton Paper's predecessor.
The cleanup costs were originally projected around $400 million, but the estimate has climbed to $1 billion or more.
The case was scheduled for trial in Milwaukee in January.
Production of PCBs was banned in 1979 after they were shown to cause cancer in wildlife and be a likely carcinogen for humans.