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EPA Announces $75 million Great Lakes cleanup with U.S. Steel in Duluth, Minn.

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute, U.S. EPA (
312-886-7613, 312-898-2042 Cell
Meghan Cox, U.S. Steel (
412-433-6777, 412-584-1541 Cell

For Immediate Release  No. 18-OPA044

CHICAGO (August 29, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Steel Corp. announced an agreement to undertake a $75 million cleanup and restoration project at the former Duluth Works site on the St. Louis River at Spirit Lake in Duluth, Minn. This is part of a larger effort to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
“Today’s $75 million restoration project with U.S. Steel shows that public-private partnerships can deliver results, in this case, a major step forward in restoring the St. Louis River AOC,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp.
“We are excited to continue our successful partnership with EPA to address legacy impacts at our former Duluth Works. By responsibly managing impacted sediments, we will create new desirable habitat in the estuary,” said U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt.   

The planned Spirit Lake project includes dredging 700,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and building three on-site confined disposal facilities. The plan also calls for constructing an engineered cap over 100 acres of estuary sediment and creating a new 30-acre sheltered bay. The design work is expected to be finished in December 2018 and is being done in close coordination with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Spirit Lake project is being completed under the authority of EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Act, with U.S. Steel providing 55 percent of the total project cost and EPA providing the remaining 45 percent. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.

The partnership at the site between EPA and U.S. Steel began in 2011 when U.S. Steel approached EPA with a proposal to enroll the site in the Great Lakes Legacy Act program and complete a remedial investigation. The successful completion of the collaborative investigation led to additional cost-share agreements to complete a feasibility study and the current remedial design.
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