St Louis River clean-up project is flowing along

By KBJR News 1

August 25, 2014 Updated Aug 25, 2014 at 6:12 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Progress is flowing on the St. Louis River clean up

"It's gonna start on Radio Tower Bay just upstream from here. Grassy Point will be another one, and um, on the Superior side there's the pickle ponds that will be looked at and Howard's Pocket," said Bill Majewski, Chair of the St Louis River Alliance Board of Directors.

The river is listed as one of 43 areas of concern around the great lakes, but extreme contamination has made it a top priority. Clean-up efforts have hit a major milestone this summer.

"The first BUI is being submitted to the E-P-A right now, the aesthetics one, for consideration for delisting," said Majewski

There are eight more beneficial use impairments that need to be submitted to the E-P-A before the St. Louis River can be de-listed as an area of concern.

"There are other programs then that are gonna integrate themselves into it because you're never totally done but the goal is to get rid of that historic element where rules and regulations were a little less stringent and things just happened," said Diane Desotelle, the St Louis River Cleanup Coordinator for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The clean-up project could top a billion dollars before it wraps up in 20-25. More than 400 million dollars has already been spent on cleaning up the River. Over the next three to seven years officials will be..

"removing woodwaste, restoring that habitat by shallowing up some of these areas that were dredged and restoring some of the landscape for fish and all aquatic habitat," said Desotelle.

There are more than 60 items on the remedial action plan, that was updated last year.

Officials are working on a large three-year project off 21st Ave East, in which 150,000 cubic yards of material, dredged from the Twin Ports shipping channel, were dumped in the embayment in hopes of improving the habitat.

The St Louis River Alliance hosted the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at a special Duluth City Council meeting Monday night to update councilors on cleanup progress.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati