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EPA supporting cleanups of 2 Michigan toxic hotspots

Environmental Protection Agency seal
Environmental Protection Agency

The federal government is pledging funds to help advance cleanups of two toxic waste hotspots in Michigan.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will provide $4.3 million toward a $6.6 million cleanup of the Ryerson Creek Outfall site along the shoreline of Muskegon Lake. The area is contaminated with petroleum, metals and hydrocarbon compounds.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is also providing $1 million supporting the project.

WGVU spoke with Dr. Alan Steinman Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University. He tells us the Ryerson Creek cleanup is a two-step process with the stream receiving standard restoration. It’s part two that is the heavier lift where the contaminants flowed from the creek into Muskegon Lake.

As Dr. Steinman explains, “Those sediments need to be removed, which is the big cost due to disposal and strict regulations. That is done by contract. Hopefully all done during next calendar year.”

In the Upper Peninsula, EPA and Honeywell International Inc. will finish a $5.4 million study of how to deal with lead, PCB and arsenic contamination at the Lake Linden Recreational Area and the Hubbell Processing Area. They were polluted during the 20th century copper mining era.

Contaminated sediments will be removed at both sides and along Torch Lake.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.