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Sediment Sampling near the U.S. Steel Superfund Site in Duluth, Minnesota

Sept. 28, 2020 — The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Steel Corporation are making final preparations to initiate a joint sediment cleanup in the Saint Louis River in Duluth, Minnesota. They will dredge and excavate over 780,000 cubic yards of material in and around the former U.S. Steel Duluth Works site.

Three people on a boat.
Sediment sampling underway at U.S Steel Site in Duluth, Minnesota. Image credit: Windward Environmental LLC.

Ahead of this extensive cleanup project, NOAA’s Assessment and Restoration Division and several partners proceeded this week to collect contaminated sediment from eighteen locations in the Saint Louis River. NOAA will be testing the sediment to characterize the toxicity of the current conditions near the Superfund site to benthic invertebrates, small animals that dwell in the river bottom and provide food for fish and other natural resources. NOAA and five other state, federal, and tribal trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment for the U.S. Steel Duluth Superfund site. 

The sediment collection and laboratory toxicity testing is one of several steps that the Trustees will perform to gather information to determine how the historical contamination releases from the U.S. Steel site adversely affect the ecosystem and human uses of the resources. 

Last updated Tuesday, October 6, 2020 3:24pm PDT