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GLIN==> environmental dredging of conner creek





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.

Thanks,

Shawn Hupka
Citizens Environment Alliance
(519) 973-1116


2000/04/19

Congressman John Dingell
Room 2328 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20515
United States of America

or

Congressman John Conyers
Room 2426 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20515
United States of America

Sir,

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.

Yours truly,





GreenPlanet Social Justice & Ecology Network
P.O. Box 548
Windsor, ON N9A 6M6
Canada
Ph. 519-973-8352 fax 519-973-8360
email: riccawu@mnsi.net
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