Milestone for Howards Bay: EPA Announces St. Louis River AOC Cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced a $13.8 million cleanup of Howards Bay in Superior, Wisconsin, part of the St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) on Lake Superior.

According to EPA, work will be funded through a cost-sharing partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the City of Superior and Fraser Shipyards.

“The Howards Bay project is yet another example of progress being made through public-private partnerships under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Cleaning up decades’ worth of contaminated sediment in the bay is a critical step in restoring the St. Louis River Area of Concern.”

“This is an important milestone in our efforts to clean up this toxic hotspot,” said Wisconsin DNR Secretary-designee, Preston Cole. “Removing legacy contaminants is a priority for this administration, and the DNR, which is why we are also asking for additional funding in the budget so we are able to finish the job. Without this crucial funding, the worse it is for the environment and the more expensive it becomes.”

The cleanup will include dredging 87,000 cubic yards of sediment and placement of a sand cover to control remaining material as needed.

According to EPA, construction is expected to begin in 2020.