U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $120,000 grant to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for a project to assess the health of the Waukegan Harbor Area of Concern on Lake Michigan.
Waukegan Harbor is one of 43 contaminated sites on the Great Lakes which was designated as an ‘Area of Concern’ (AOC) by the United States and Canada under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
“This grant will assist the efforts of local partners to improve environmental conditions and health for the 30 million Americans who live and work in the Great Lakes region,” said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “EPA is working closely with state and local partners to advance our shared goal to restore the Great Lakes ecosystem.”
“This funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is critical to bringing Waukegan Harbor one step closer to delisting as an Area of Concern,” added Diane Tecic, coastal management program director at IDNR.
The Waukegan Harbor cleanup was completed in 2014 after more than 20 years of federal, state and local efforts.
EPA, the State of Illinois and parties responsible for contaminating the harbor spent $150 million to remove or cap PCB-contaminated sediment, clean up the Outboard Marine Superfund Site and restore habitat in the AOC.