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Great Lakes AOCs

Presque Isle Bay AOC - Delisted

Amy Pelka


Presque Isle Bay in Lake Erie was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In February 2013, after reviewing the success of cleanup activities, Presque Isle Bay was removed from the binational list of AOCs.  Learn more about what happens after delisting.

AOC Boundaries

The Presque Isle Bay AOC was located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The bay is bounded by the mainland and City of Erie to the south and east, and Presque Isle to the north and west. The Presque Isle Bay watershed is about 25 square miles.

Sources of Pollution

Waste disposal practices before state and federal regulatory programs were established had resulted in the discharge of industrial and domestic wastewater into the bay or to its streams and tributaries. This contaminated the bay with pollutants such as excessive nutrients, organic compounds and heavy metals. Point sources of pollution include steel mills, a foundry, water treatment plants and other industrial facilities. Combined sewer overflows and urban runoff contribute to nonpoint pollution.

An evaluation identified two main pollutants in the sediment:
  • heavy metals such as nickel, lead and cadmium
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

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Beneficial Use Impairments

More information:

General information about BUIs: Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Fish Tumors and Other Deformities - REMOVED 2012
  • Restrictions on Dredging - REMOVED 2007

Presque Isle Bay AOC was delisted in 2013.

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Remediation and Restoration Work

EPA has continually worked with federal, state and local partners to execute remediation and restoration work in the area with the ultimate goal of removing the AOC designation and revitalizing the surrounding communities.

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