Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., welcomed the announcement by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of completion of the Deer Lake Area of Concern project near Ishpeming.
The Michigan senators have been strong proponents of the project, including the diversion of Partridge Creek, which had flowed through a contaminated underground mine carrying mercury contamination into Deer Lake and from there potentially into the Great Lakes. Completion of the project was completed with $8 million in funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Levin and Stabenow have long supported.
“The long effort to protect Deer Lake, and along with it our Great Lakes, has now reached fruition so that fish and wildlife can flourish and people can enjoy the area’s natural beauty and recreation opportunities. Diverting Partridge Creek will prevent harmful mercury from contaminating Lake Superior. I am thrilled to see this $8 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding put to good use,” Stabenow said.
“Protecting the Lake Superior Watershed for future generations is critical to our economy and our way of life,” Stabenow added. “It’s terrific that with the help of this Great Lakes Restoration funding, residents and visitors will be able to once again fish on Deer Lake and enjoy the area for years to come.”
Deer Lake is one of 43 Areas of Concern designated under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The U.S. and Canada designated sites that had the worst legacies of toxic contamination on the Great Lakes. Since then, only two U.S. Areas of Concern have been cleaned up to the point where they could be removed from the list of designated sites. Deer Lake is poised to be the third Area of Concern to be “delisted.”
Press Release, November 6, 2013