WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) have signed a $16 million agreement to remediate contaminated sediment in two backwater ponds surrounded by shallow marsh wetlands in Duluth.

“Restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem will provide significant long-term benefits for Minnesotans,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This investment will support wildlife habitats, help bolster tourism, and strengthen the shipping industry. As one of the vice-chairs of the Great Lakes Task Force, I will continue to ensure we invest in cleaning up our local ecosystems.”

“I’m glad the federal government is continuing to put dollars behind this Minnesota priority,” said Senator Smith. “This restoration effort will protect public health and aquatic life by addressing lingering problems with contaminated sediment. I’m looking forward to this project taking shape, and will continue supporting restoration efforts on Lake Superior and its surrounding watersheds.”

The project will improve access to the Duluth-Superior Harbor, a vital site for Minnesota’s economy. The remediation will focus on 45,000 cubic yards of the Ponds, commonly called the “ponds behind Erie Pier,” containing contaminated sediment.

The project is slated to begin early this summer with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As one of the vice-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Klobuchar is a leading advocate for the protection of the Great Lakes and has consistently advocated for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). She has worked to bolster pollution clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes, provide critical resources to conserve and restore fish and wildlife populations in the Great Lakes, and ensure that the Great Lakes Navigation System receives its fair share from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to help improve the safety of navigation through the Great Lakes.

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