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EPA Announces $10.1 million St. Louis Area of Concern cleanup

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release  No. 18-OPA47

CHICAGO (September 6, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today announced a $10.1 million Great Lakes cleanup in Duluth, Minn. The projects will focus on the Minnesota Slip near the downtown Duluth waterfront and Slips 3 and C in the Duluth Harbor. This is part of a larger effort to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“The Duluth slip cleanups demonstrate the commitment of EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to clean up legacy pollution, working in cooperation with industries, states, and local agencies,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp.

“These cleanups, and really the entire St. Louis River Area of Concern project, are a great example of how local-state-federal partnership and cooperation is supposed to work to protect the environment and human health,” said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine.

The three projects will result in the remediation of approximately 154,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment contaminated with heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assisting the two agencies.

In October and November of this year, the Minnesota Slip cleanup will result in the remediation of about 37,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment. Project activities include moving 2,500 cubic yards of mud within the slip to level the slip bottom and allow for its continued use. Contaminated sediment will be capped with 2 feet of dredged material from clean areas of the harbor along with a layer of stone. The cap will isolate contaminants and protect against damage from boat traffic.

The project will cost $6.5 million, including in-kind contributions of $3.6 million from MPCA in partnership with the city of Duluth and Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. These in-kind contributions will help fund required dock wall stabilization and allow for the temporary relocation of the SS William A. Irvin. The retired freighter is scheduled to move this September and return to the Minnesota Slip next spring.

Slips 3 and C will undergo a $3.5 million cleanup this fall. More than 116,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be capped with approximately 2 feet of dredged material from clean areas of the harbor along with a layer of stone.

The St. Louis River and Bay is one of 27 U.S. areas of concern targeted for cleanup under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Since 2016, more than $125 million has been committed to restore the AOC, including the $75 million Spirit Lake cleanup of the former Duluth Works site announced last week.

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