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Contaminated Sediments Program

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Sediment Remediation

While the problem of contaminated sediments persists in the Great Lakes, efforts are being made in the pursuit of remediating these contaminated sediments. In the years 1997 through 2007, 5.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediments have been remediated in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin. The following graphs show the progress of sediment remediation, with yearly totals from 1997 through 2007. It is anticipated that the rate of sediment remediation activities will accelerate with the availability of GLLA funding opportunities.

Yearly volume of sediment remediated in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin

Graph showing yearly volume of sediment removed from U.S. Great Lakes Basin

Cumulative volume of sediment remediated in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin

Graph showing cumulative volume of sediment removed from U.S. Great Lakes Basin

DISCLAIMER:  Volumes in the yearly bar graphs are quantitative estimates as reported by project managers, rounded to the nearest one hundred thousand cubic yards. Volumes in the cumulative bar graphs are quantitative estimates as reported by project managers, summed, and then rounded to the nearest one hundred thousand cubic yards. Data collection and reporting efforts are described in the “Great Lakes Sediment Remediation Project Summary Support” Quality Assurance Project Plan (GLNPO, June 2008). Detailed project information is available upon request from project managers.

Sediments remediation projects from 1997 to date
Click to view 1997 to 2008 Sediment Remediation Projects
(PDF 1.26Mb 12 pages)

Several projects typically occur each year within the Great Lakes Basin to remediate contaminated sediments. Click on the chart at the left it to view the sediment remediation projects that occurred in the Great Lakes Basin from 1997 to 2007. Below are brief descriptions of two of the remediation projects from 2002. For more information on sediment progress in the Great Lakes Basin, please view the Great Lakes Binational Toxic Strategy, Realizing Remediation I and Realizing Remediation II, and the GLNPO Environmental Indicator for Sediment Remediation.

 

 

Photo: Hydraulic dredge removing contaminated sediment from Tannery Bay in White Lake, Michigan
Hydraulic dredge removing contaminated sediment from Tannery Bay in White Lake, Michigan
photo: Sediment after dewatering process which then be transported to a Type II landfill
Sediment after dewatering process which will then be transported to a Type II landfill
photo: Sediment being removed from the dewatered cells
Sediment being removed from the dewatered cells

Tannery Bay, White Lake, Michigan

Remediation began at Tannery Bay in White Lake, Michigan in 2002 to remove sediments containing high concentrations of chromium, arsenic and mercury. Approximately 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were dredged in 2002, with an additional 15,000 cubic yards slated for removal in the spring of 2003. Aside from the chemical contaminants found in Tannery Bay, the sediments have a distinct burgundy coloration caused from the various dyes used as part of the tanning process and also contain animal hides and hairs. This project was initiated under a consent decree with Genesco Corporation through a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Water Division action.

Pine River, Michigan

A major environmental dredging effort at the Velsicol Chemical site on the Pine River in St. Louis, Michigan was in its fourth year of remediation in 2002. U.S. EPA Superfund is leading the cleanup of sediments that were historically contaminated with DDT by removing them from the river via dry excavation. From 1999 to 2002, over 330,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments have been removed from the Pine River. This was done by dividing the river in half with sheet piling in order to create several different cells. The cells were then dewatered by pumping the water into the on-site wastewater treatment plant before being discharged back into the river. Once dewatered, sediments were then stabilized with lime and transported off-site to various non-hazardous waste landfills.

 

 

 

 


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