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Ruddiman Creek cleanup receives Great Lakes Legacy Act funds

Release Date: 8/5/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: Jeff Kelley, (312) 353-1159

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA144

CHICAGO (Aug. 5, 2005) — Money from the Great Lakes Legacy Act and Clean Michigan Initiative will pay for the $10.6 million cleanup of Ruddiman Creek and Pond in Muskegon, Mich. Beginning this month, EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will remove about 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the creek and pond, the first such cleanup in the Muskegon Lake Area of Concern.

Currently, the main branch of the creek is posted as a no swimming, fishing or recreation area because the sediment is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (a byproduct of petroleum) and toxic metals. EPA and MDEQ developed the cleanup plan in partnership with the local public action committee. The goals of the cleanup are to reduce risks to health, wildlife and aquatic life, restore aquatic habitat and enhance the recreational, residential and economic values of the area. After the cleanup, the creek and pond water flow patterns will be restored, followed by replanting of native species of flowers, trees and grasses.

The Great Lakes Legacy Act will provide 65 percent or $6.9 million and Clean Michigan Initiative the remaining 35 percent or $3.7 million of the cost of the cleanup. It is the third remediation project to receive money under the Great Lakes Legacy Act, which President Bush signed in 2002 to address the problem of contaminated sediment in 31 toxic hot spots known as "areas of concern" around the Great Lakes.

Contaminated sediment is a problem in rivers and harbors throughout the Great Lakes. It is a reason why many fish in the lakes are not safe to eat in unlimited quantities, harms aquatic life, degrades habitat and affects the quality of sources of drinking water. For more information about this cleanup go to:

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