EPA completes two GLLA projects in Michigan

U.S. EPA yesterday announced the completion of two multi-million-dollar Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) projects in Michigan through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

These two projects remediated a total of 23,600 cubic yards of contaminated sediment within the Muskegon Lake and Detroit River Areas of Concern (AOCs), two of 43 areas identified in the mid-1980s by the United States and Canada as the most environmentally degraded areas in the Great Lakes ecosystem.   

“This is another great example of how effective this agency has been following the priorities of this Administration – the completion of these Great Lakes Legacy Act projects demonstrate that when federal, state, local, and industry partners work together collaboratively, we can solve complex environmental problems and get the job done,” said Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager, Kurt Thiede.

“These cleanups in the Muskegon Lake and Detroit River AOCs will significantly advance our efforts to restore water quality in these two important waterways.”

At the Ryerson Creek Outfall in Muskegon, EPA dredged 10,600 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and removed over 2,000 tons of mill debris, and then covered the entire two-acre area with clean sand.

EPA completed the $6.6 million cleanup in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Muskegon County, Mich., and an industry partner.

Along the Detroit Riverwalk, EPA dredged approximately 13,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment just downstream of the MacArthur Bridge that leads to Belle Isle.

EPA isolated and stabilized the contaminated sediment with a “cap” made of clean material. This $2.9 million cleanup was funded through a GLLA cost-sharing partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy (DRFC).

DRFC covered the sediment cap with stone rip rap, which stabilized an aging seawall and provided geophysical support for the future Detroit Riverwalk extension, which will connect Mt. Elliott and Gabriel Richards parks.

EPA also collaborated with USACE, EGLE and the City of Detroit to complete this project.

Photo: St. Louis River Alliance