Remedial Action Plans for the Great Lakes AOCs
A Remedial Action Plan is a required cleanup plan for all designated AOCs in the Great Lakes basin.
Each state approaches RAP development in different ways. Some have a "hands-on" style of involvement in the process while others delegate much of the decision-making to local groups or agencies within the AOC.
According to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, each RAP must include the following:
- A list identifying which of the 14 Beneficial Use Impairments are present and their causes
- The criteria for restoring the BUIs - taking into account local conditions and established in consultation with the local community
- Remedial measures to be taken, including identifying the parties that will be responsible for implementing these measures
- A summary of the measures taken and and their progress in removing the BUI
- The monitoring and evaluation program to track the remedial measures and how they lead to removing the BUI
The RAP includes management actions necessary for delisting. These are the reasonable and realistic actions that could be taken to remove the relevant BUIs and, hence, delist the AOC. These actions may not result in the immediate removal of a set of BUIs, but they are expected to remove the contaminant threat that will allow environmental conditions to improve over time and lead to eventual delisting of the AOC.
All management actions necessary for delisting are considered implemented once those actions have commenced and the work is completed over the life of the project. For example, a Great Lakes Legacy Act dredging project that takes place over a 6-month period would be considered a completed management action at the end of that 6-month period.
Each state and AOC update their RAPs on a regular basis to reflect changing local conditions. Cleanup projects may be completed showing progress, studies and analyses of BUI conditions may be completed and other issues may arise that show that BUIs are moving towards removal. RAPs are useful planning and tracking documents that reflect the dynamic nature of the AOC cleanup program. While RAP updates are no longer referred to by "Stages" due to a change in the 2012 Protocol, they do reflect the ongoing cleanups and changes to the AOC in the pursuit of BUI removal and AOC delisting.
RAPs on State AOC Websites
Note: Some states don't produce a general list because they have only one AOC. The following links exit the site Exit
- Waukegan Harbor - RAP is published by the Waukegan Harbor Citizens Advisory Group
- Michigan Great Lakes Areas of Concern Program - includes the Guidance for Delisting Michigan's Areas of Concern
- New York Great Lakes Areas of Concern - includes New York's AOC delisting guidance (PDF) (14 pp, 83 K, About PDF) May 2010
- Presque Isle Bay AOC has been delisted
- Wisconsin DNR Area of Concern Resources - RAPs are specific to their AOCs
- Wisconsin's Great Lakes Areas of Concern - from University of Wisconsin Extension