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E-M:/ environmental dredging
- Subject: E-M:/ environmental dredging
- From: GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>
- Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 16:51:11 -0400
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>
Enviro-Mich message from GreenPlanet
The Citizens Environment Alliance has learned that the dredged sediment
from Conner Creek in Detroit may be stored at the Confined Disposal
Facility [CDF] at Pointe Mouillee. The final decision on this seems to
rest with the US Amry Corps in Washington, D.C..
The disposal of this contaminated sediment at the CDF at Pointe Mouillee
is unacceptable. Pointe Mouille was designed to store non-contaminated
navigational dredging and like all CDFs, Pointe Mouille leaks. This
will speed up the contaminants journey to lake Erie, hardly a remediation
of the problem.
We're asking everyone to call or write Congressman John Conyers and/or
John Dingell to insist that the sediments truly be removed from our
ecosystem. I've attached letters to them here. It has also
been suggested that these letters be copied to Commander Colonel Robert
Davis at the US Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, Michigan. The
mailing address is P.O. Box 1027 Detroit, Michigan, 48231-1027, United
States of America.
Citizens Environment Alliance
Congressman John Dingell
Room 2328 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20515
United States of America
Congressman John Conyers
Room 2426 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20515
United States of America
The clean up of Conner Creek in Detroit may come at the expense of Lake
Erie. Distressingly, the US Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit has
signaled its willingness to allow the environmental dredging of Conner
Creek be stored at the Confined Disposal Facility [CDF] at Pointe
Mouillee. The final decision, however, seems to rest with the US Amry
Corps in Washington, D.C.. Please communicate to the Army Corps in
Washington and the USEPA that the disposal of this contaminated sediment
at the CDF at Pointe Mouillee is unacceptable.
The issues of environmental dredging and disposal of contaminated
sediments need to be viewed on a river-scale basis, not on an individual
site basis. While the immediate concern is being focused on two sites on
the Detroit River that need environmental dredging (Black Lagoon and
Conner Creek) , in reality there are at least 12 sites that have been
identified through the Remedial Action Planning documents as being highly
contaminated and require removal for restoring aquatic health.
Further, utilizing the CDF at Pointe Mouillee for these highly
contaminated sediments is not an ecologically sound solution. This CDF,
like every CDF that has ever been built, leaks. Placing highly
contaminated sediments in the Pointe Mouillee CDF will only fast track
these persistent toxic substances to Lake Erie. The Grassy Island CDF off
the shore of Wyandotte is a case in point of how 'well' CDFs work.
There are reasonable and long term solutions to deal with all of the
highly contaminated sediments in the Lower Rouge and Detroit River.
The construction of a treatment facility (thermal desorption or inert
construction blocks) on one of the many “brownfield” sites that currently
exists on the Detroit River is one possible solution.
Specifically, the National Steel Corp. - Great Lakes Steel Division owns
seven miles of property along the Detroit River. Much of this property is
brownfield, with no activity on it. Great Lakes Steel has “enjoyed” 60
years of discharging persistent toxic pollutants into the Detroit River;
it is time they become part of the solution to cleaning this river
up. Their contribution to this effort would be providing the
necessary land to construct the treatment facility for the Detroit River
and Lower Rouge River contaminated sediments.
Placing contaminated sediments from one or two sites into a CDF is a
short-sighted, unsustainable solution. It is merely transferring the
contamination from one place to another. The EPA has spent millions of
dollars in identifying, researching and evaluating various methodologies
for treating contaminated sediments, yet when real situations arise to
address these contaminated sediments, placing this material in landfills
or CDFs (the most antiquated 'technology' of all) becomes the preferred
method; that decision is simply based on short-term cost.
If a treatment facility or facilities were constructed with the intent of
treating ALL the contaminated sediment areas in the river, then the cost,
although admittedly high, would be much more effective in the long
run. The effect would be the permanent removal of the contaminants
from the ecosystem; a REAL clean up for the Lower Rouge, Detroit River
and Lake Erie.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
GreenPlanet Social Justice & Ecology Network
P.O. Box 548
Windsor, ON N9A 6M6
Ph. 519-973-8352 fax 519-973-8360
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