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Great Lakes AOCs

Legacy Act Cleanup of Grand Calumet River

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Grand Calumet River ZonesGrand Calumet River zonesZone A - West Branch including Roxana Marsh

The West Branch cleanup completed in 2012. This zone went through two major remedial projects happening at separate locations in the West Branch.

  • Dredging in August 2011 at the Hohman Avenue to Columbia Avenue stretch. Nearly 150,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment were removed off the top two feet of sediment where a cap now covers the remaining sediment. The cap is made of an activated carbon layer covered by 2 feet of sand.
  • Dredging operations at the other end of the West Branch completed in December 2011. About 235,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment were removed from the river and adjacent wetlands between Columbia Avenue in Hammond, Indiana and Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago, Indiana. A cap now covers 345,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment of the dredged area. The cap is made of 6 inches of organoclay covered by 12 inches of sand. Restoration of the site took place in spring 2012, and included planting native seeds and plants in the 25-acre Rosanna Marsh.

$78 million dollars has remediated 730,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in the West Branch portion of the project. This cleanup successfully removed a large amount of PCBs, PAHs, heavy metals and pesticides from the river.

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Zone B - The East Branch

The East Branch restoration and remedial efforts in the Grand Calumet River are in progress.

Remediation and habitat restoration of the 1.8-mile stretch of the river from Cline Avenue to Kennedy Avenue began with the removal of 385,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, then capping the dredged sediment. Other remedial efforts include deep pool restoration and the revival of shallow marginal wetlands.

Work to be complete in 2015.

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Zone C - Hohman Avenue to state line

Zone C is located on the West Branch of the river between Hohman Avenue to the Indiana/Illinois state line. Targeted for removal are 11,700 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, then cap placement over an additional 70,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment. The project should begin in summer of 2015 and completed in early 2016.

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Zone D and Zone E

Project negotiations began for Zone D in July 2013. The project is from Cline Avenue to the boundary of the U.S.. Steel dredging project, which was completed in 2007.  The project includes using Ralston Street Lagoon as a sediment disposal location. Evaluation of activities regarding the possibility of placing the sediments in the Ralston Street Lagoon is ongoing.

Work on Zone E has also begun. The final zone is a collection of the remaining Grand Calumet River segments within East Chicago, Indiana. The parts of Grand Calumet River not remediated will undergo a remedial investigation, feasibility study and remedial design, with completion expected in 2015. The project will also address parts of the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal that the U.S.. Army Corps of Engineers does not intend on dredging.

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EPA is providing 65 percent of the project costs with funds designated for the Great Lakes Legacy Act.

The State of Indiana is providing the remaining 35 percent of costs for work in Zones A and B using Natural Resources Damage Assessment funds.

EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Indiana Department of Natural Resources are collaborating on these projects.

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