MPCA continues work to remediate nearly 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in Duluth harbor

Contact: Lucie Amundsen, 218-302-6600

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) investigations indicate that two commercial docking locations in the St. Louis River Area of Concern have contaminated sediments. The Azcon/DSPA Slip contains approximately 55,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with lead, arsenic, copper, nickel, zinc, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (dioxins). The AGP/Northland Slip contains about 24,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with lead, polychlorinated Biphenyls, PAHs, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc and other metals.

MPCA is requesting public comments on the environmental review for the proposed Azcon/DSPA and AGP/Northland Slips cleanup. The contamination in the slips dates back a century to harbor activities before modern environmental laws were enacted.

The MPCA has applied for a Great Lakes Legacy Act Project Agreement to conduct a cleanup of the slips that includes dredging a portion of the contaminated sediment, followed by capping of the remaining contaminated sediment. Following a completed project agreement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the MPCA have the authority and capability to perform the cleanup and intend to cooperate in cost sharing and financing to restore water quality in the St. Louis River Area of Concern.

The MPCA has prepared an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) for the cleanup projects. The EAW describes the project’s potential effects on the environment, including its impact on nearby land uses, geography, habitat, and historic sites. It also details air and vehicle emissions, dust, traffic, noise, and odors that the project might produce.

The EAW is available on the MPCA's EAW webpage or by calling Patrice Jensen at 651-757-2465. Mail or email comments to Patrice Jensen, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155 by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.