U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Phelps Dodge Corp. along with the state of Michigan shared the costs of an $8 million cleanup project on Tannery Bay, a polluted bay west of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Chromium and mercury from a former tannery polluted the bay, which is on St. Marys River, the connecting channel between lakes Superior and Huron. St. Marys River is a joint U.S.-Canadian “area of concern,” which marks the region for special environmental attention.
The project used $4.8 million in federal Great Lakes Legacy Act funds. Phelps Dodge, which owns the former Cannelton Industries tannery property, contributed $2.6 million. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, through the state’s Clean Michigan Initiative, provided $600,000 in funding.
The pollution was mainly byproducts from the Northwestern Leather Co. tannery that operated from 1900 to 1958. When the tannery was operating, waste was dumped into ditches and flowed into the bay where it settled in the mud (sediment).
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- Sept. 20, 2007 — St. Marys River/Tannery Bay cleanup finished
- June 5, 2007 — Dredging of St. Marys River/Tannery Bay to resume
- Nov. 3, 2006 — Tannery Bay dredging to stop for winter; will resume spring 2007
- July 13, 2006 — Tannery Bay/St. Marys River receives $8 million for cleanup
Great Lakes Legacy Act Project Agreements (PAs) are negotiated agreements between U.S. EPA and the non-federal partner(s). A Project Agreement describes the project scope, the roles and responsibilities of all partners, and the cost sharing for the project.
- Cleanup Work Completed at Tannery Bay Site (PDF) (2 pp, 132K) September 2007
- Project Agreement to construct the Tannery Bay Sediment Remediation and Restoration Project (PDF) (19 pp, 66K)
- Tannery Bay Dredging Will Remove Pollution (PDF) (2 pp, 181K) July 2006