More Federal Funding to Help Clean Up of Spirit Lake, St. Louis River

DULUTH, Minn. – Clean up of the former U.S. Steel Duluth Works site is getting a boost in funding.

$113 million from the federal infrastructure bill passed last year will go towards the complete restoration of Spirit Lake, Munger Landing, and Scanlon Reservation.

A key part of the project through next year is the dredging and removal of 406-thousand cubic yards of sediment, which will remain on site in confined disposal facilities.  In the end, 119 acres will be covered with a protective cap, and a 42-acre shelter bay will be created to assist with fish spawning and increase access to the water for recreational activities.

“We’ll have boat launches, areas for fishing and paddling, and a trail and enjoying a restored place that once was heavily contaminated,” says Debra Shore, Regional Director of Region 5 for the EPA.

Shore adds the improvements will not just be for the environment, but also the local economy.  “When we can clean them up, when the beneficial use impairments are removed like no longer are there fishing advisories and so on, it becomes a huge economic boost to a city because then they can redevelop it and know that the site is clean and safe.”

Shore says that the latest investment bump will help the St. Louis River lose its Area of Concern label.  So far they have completed 50 of the 80 requirements to do so.  If all goes as planned, the river could lose this label by the end of the decade.

U-S Steel will be hosting a community meeting at the Morgan Park Community Center Thursday, May 19 starting at 5 p.m. to share more information on this year’s plans.  The poster session will be followed by a presentation and questions and answers from 6 to 7:30.

Categories: Environment, Links, News – Latest News, Video