I think the contamination from years and years ago is still a threat to this river. I mean like I said, I wouldn't eat the fish out of it myself.
- Duluth resident, 2013
Sediment to be remediated: Approximately 2.65 million cubic yards
Contaminants: Heavy metals, PCBs, PAHs, and dioxins
Method: Dredging and capping
When: Cleanup expected to start as early as 2019
Partners: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and U. S. Steel
Cost: To be determined in the design stage
Note: The cleanup will incorporate the creation of a shallow sheltered bay and shallow open water habitats, resulting in a net gain of 30 acres of open water. Sediment will be stored long-term in two upland Confined Disposal Facilities (CDF) and one CDF built in the delta above the ordinary high water level.
The former U. S. Steel Duluth Works site is located near Spirit Lake and miles upstream of Lake Superior. The site is within the St. Louis River estuary, which is the largest Great Lakes Area of Concern in the United States.
The design is taking place and a project agreement for a cleanup between U. S. Steel and EPA has been signed. Once the design is complete, a cleanup will begin - in 2019 at the earliest. The cleanup will take at least two field seasons to complete. A field season typically lasts 4-10 months. The schedule is subject to change.
The project is currently in the design stage. More technical information will be provided once available.
- Spirit Lake FAQs (PDF, 12p, 3.9MB) March 2017
- Spirit Lake Proposed Plan Fact Sheet (PDF, 2p, 227KB) August 2016
- Public Meeting Invitation (PDF, 2p, 294KB) August 2016
- Addendum to feasibility study former U.S. Steel Duluth Works Spirit Lake sediment site (PDF, 30p, 2.67KB) December 2015
- Revised feasibility study former U.S. Steel Duluth Works and Spirit Lake sediment site (PDF, 136p, 40.3 MB ) July 2015
- Revised feasibility study appendices
- Outreach needs assessment for St. Louis River (PDF, 17p, 903KB) October 2013
- U.S. Steel Spirit Lake site habitat characterization (PDF, 61p, 34MB) May 2013
- U.S. Steel Spirit Lake site habitat wetland delineation (PDF, 82p, 31MB) April 2013
- Former U.S. Steel Duluth Works Spirit Lake sediment remedial investigation report (PDF, 292p, 44MB) March 2013