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E-M:/ Manistique PCB cleanup



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Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com
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X-Comment: U.S. EPA Region 5 Office of Public Affairs

U.S. EPA Region 5 News Release
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Legal Contact: Deborah Garber
(312) 886-6610

Technical Contact: Jim Hahnenberg
(312) 353-4213

Media Contact: Mick Hans
(312) 353-5050

For Immediate Release: May 14, 1997

No. 97-OPA097

EPA SIGNS LANDMARK AGREEMENT TO
CLEAN UP MANISTIQUE RIVER, HARBOR 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 
has recently signed an agreement with three potentially
responsible parties to pay for dredging of PCB-contaminated 
sediments at the Manistique River and Harbor
Superfund site, Manistique, MI. 

A signing ceremony hosted by the Manistique Harbor Public 
Advisory Council was held April 21.  Attendees
included U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, EPA Regional Superfund 
Director William Muno, Mayor John Stewart, and
representatives from Edison Sault Electric Co., Manistique 
Papers Inc., and The Old Mountain Company, Inc.

A key provision of the agreement allows the three companies 
to pay EPA the cost equivalent of capping
contaminated spots in the harbor--rather than the cost of the 
dredging--while absolving them of any future liability
associated with the site. 

Dredging was completed in the North Bay and U.S. Route 2 
Bridge areas of the harbor in 1996.  This included
removal of sediments with PCB concentrations above 10 parts 
per million, treatment of water collected during the
removal process, and off-site disposal.  After dredging was 
completed, gravel was placed at the bottom of North
Bay to improve the river bed as habitat for fish and other aquatic species.  

Dredging south of the bridge will begin in early June and is 
expected to take 2 years.  Total project cost: $16 million.

"This is one of the most aggressive removal plans ever seen 
at a Midwest Superfund site," said EPA's Muno.  "A
cleanup of this scope and expense normally takes 8 to 10 
years.  We hope to complete it in 5 to 6 years."  EPA's
involvement at the site began in 1993.

When the final removal is completed, some 120,000 cubic yards 
of sediment and other waste materials will have
been dredged from the river and harbor and shipped off-site for 
disposal. The Manistique River and Harbor was
contaminated by waste from commercial and industrial operations 
over  decades.  

PCB's are a group of toxic chemicals, once used widely in industry 
as coolants and lubricants and as components
of carbonless copy paper.  EPA banned the manufacture of 
PCB's in 1979 because of evidence that they
accumulate in the environment and present human health hazards.
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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)


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