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Environmental Progress - Winter 2003

Environmental Progress : Winter 2003

Waukegan Harbor Moves Forward With Sampling Event

Tests show scope of remaining contamination

A weeklong sampling event was conducted in Waukegan Harbor in January to help U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determine the extent of contamination remaining in the harbor, and evaluate the remediation options for addressing the remaining contaminated sediment.

On January 14, 2003, U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Tom Skinner, U.S. Congressman Mark Kirk, U.S. ACE Chicago District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Norm Grady, Waukegan Mayor Richard Hyde, state and local government representatives and local citizens met at Waukegan Harbor in Waukegan, Illinois, for a briefing on this unique winter sampling project.

The sampling, which was performed from a barge under harsh weather conditions, cost $200,000 and took one week to complete. Sediment samples taken from 15 locations in Waukegan Harbor will be analyzed for a wide spectrum of chemical contaminants.

Waukegan Harbor, which is adjacent to Lake Michigan, was the site of extensive PCB contamination from an adjacent boat manufacturing plant. A sediment dredging effort conducted in 1993 removed approximately 1 million pounds of PCB contaminated soil from the harbor. However, due to residual contamination, the harbor continues to be recognized as an International Area of Concern within the Great Lakes region.

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