The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced that an additional $3.5 million has been made available for work in the Spirit Lake portion of the St. Louis River Area of Concern on Lake Superior near Duluth, Minnesota.
EPA will provide $2.275 million through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and U.S. Steel will provide $1.225 million to study options for cleaning up contaminated sediment in Spirit Lake, said the agency in the release.
The funding will also cover design costs for the cleanup option that is ultimately selected. Construction and cleanup work in Spirit Lake could begin in late 2016.
During the past five years, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding has been used to accelerated work in “Areas of Concern” throughout the Great Lakes Basin – and to complete all required cleanup work in six Areas of Concern.
The United States and Canada designated 43 Areas of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in an effort to target sites contaminated primarily by industrial activity that occurred before modern environmental laws were enacted.