signs law to clean up pollution of Great Lakes basin over
The Plain Dealer
to clean up pollution at the bottom of the Great Lakes
basin will get $250 million over five years under legislation
President Bush signed into law yesterday.
The grant money
would go to local governments, states and American Indian
tribes to clean, monitor and prevent contaminated sediment,
mainly in rivers flowing into the Great Lakes.
The local partner
would be required to match 35 percent of the grant amount.
contaminated sediment buried in river bottoms has caused
tumors and impaired reproduction in fish, caused birth
defects in fish-eating birds and mammals and increased
cancer risk in people.
Four Ohio rivers
- the Cuyahoga, Black, Ashtabula and Maumee, all emptying
into Lake Erie - are undergoing cleanup. Dredging, treatment
and disposal of contaminated sediment can cost about $50
to $1,800 per cubic yard, with a median cost of $300 to
$450 per cubic yard, according to the Council of Great
"This goes back
20 to 30 years ago when chemicals were simply dumped in
the river, and no one thought much about it," said Rep.
Vernon Ehlers, a Michigan Republican who is the bill's
"The stuff is
very slowly leaking out of the sediments and into the
rivers and into the lakes."
Mike DeWine and Michigan Democrat Carl Levin sponsored
the Senate bill, which passed last month.
The federal money,
now authorized in $50 million per-year installments, must
still be drawn from the treasury through a separate spending
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