Cleanup nearly complete, but PCB
mystery not solved
The Associated Press
ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. - The final step in purging a
Lake St. Clair boat canal of PCBs has been completed under
budget and two weeks ahead of schedule, officials say.
The project involved the removal of 16,255 cubic yards
of sediment in the Lange-Revere Canal. Dredging began
Oct. 18 and was completed in mid-December, said Anthony
Marrocco, commissioner of the Macomb County Public Works
A $700,000 state grant awarded in September covered most
of the city's share of the $840,680 project, The Macomb
Daily of Mount Clemens reported Sunday.
"The canal will be tested by the Michigan Department
of Environmental Quality early (in 2004) to verify that
it is free of PCBs," Marrocco said in a release.
"The end section of the Ten Mile Drain pipe will
be cleaned and the flow will be monitored to guard against
recontamination of the canal."
High levels of PCBs also were found in the 258-acre Ten
Mile Drain system that carries storm water into Lange-Revere
and other boating canals along the lake.
State and county health officials, who have analyzed
health data for residents in the affected area, say that
no serious health effects have been linked to protracted
exposure to PCBs.
But some residents living along the Lange-Revere Canal
remain concerned that the source of the banned industrial
chemical hasn't been pinpointed.
"We are very happy with the progress made on the
canal and happy that part of the canal project has been
completed, but we're still concerned the Ten Mile Drain
- where we found PCB levels to be very high - has not
been cleaned out yet," said Lorol Brackx, a local
resident active with a citizens' group called Toxic Free
Shores. "They said they were going to clean it out
so many feet, put a balloon in there and find what the
The county soon will solicit bids for identifying the
source of the contamination, Marrocco said.
The first phase of the cleanup was completed in March
2003 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which
removed 11,000 cubic yards of PCB-tainted soil along the
42-foot wide canal at a cost of just over $6 million.