AZCON Slip GLRI cleanup wraps up

The St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) is one step closer to delisting following completion of a contaminated sediment cleanup project at AZCON/Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Slip on November 12.

Emily Schaefer, USACE

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)-funded project removed 850 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and capped an additional 55,000 cubic yards using a cap comprised of clean dredge material from the federal navigation channel and armoring stone to protect it from erosion.

“By beneficially reusing the dredged material from the navigation channel, the team was able to achieve remedial objectives, limit waste generation and decrease the environmental impact,” said Amanda Meyer, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded the contract and oversaw project dredging and construction on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The contract was awarded to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin-based Roen Salvage Company for nearly $1.2 million. The total project cost was $2 million.

In fact, three additional slip sediment remediation projects, Minnesota Slip, Slip 3 and Slip C were completed in the Port of Duluth-Superior within the St. Louis River AOC in 2018.

“This cleanup is an important step toward removing the St. Louis River AOC from the list of the most polluted places around the Great Lakes,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Kurt Thiede. 

The St. Louis River AOC is one of the 31 U.S.-based AOCs across the Great Lakes created under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Also, the watershed drains 3,634 square miles and encompasses a 1,020 square-mile area. Furthermore, the St. Louis River is the second largest U.S.-based AOC.