MPCA selects contamination remedy for St. Louis River estuary

Photo: MPCA

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has selected a cleanup remedy for the sediment contamination at Munger Landing in the St. Louis River Area of Concern (SLRAOC), a collection of several contaminated sites in the St. Louis River and Duluth Harbor.

The MPCA, along with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), will design a project to dredge and remove an estimated 92,000 cubic metres of contaminated sediments at Munger Landing to minimise risks to human health and the environment.

The MPCA will apply for a Great Lakes Legacy Act project agreement to conduct the Munger Landing cleanup. Once the project agreement is signed, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the project sponsors could begin the cleanup process as early as 2022.

Since the contamination crosses into Wisconsin, is located near a public water access, and affects nearby City of Duluth properties, MPCA will also partner with the WDNR, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR), and the City of Duluth on the project.

The estimated cost of the project is US$19.34 million.

The Munger Landing project site is adjacent to the Clyde Avenue boat launch in Duluth’s Smithville neighborhood, and is a popular place for fishing and boating. Contaminants of concern in the sediment found in the river include lead, nickel, zinc, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins/furans.

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