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Milwaukee rivers cleanup to create 46 acres of lakefront land

Posted at 10:27 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 11:29:10-05

MILWAUKEE — A plan to remove contaminated soil from Milwaukee's rivers would create 46 acres of new land, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

The cleanup would remove 1.7 million cubic yards of soil from the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers, making these waterways better for fishing and swimming. It may begin in the summer of 2022 and would last two and a half years.

Once the contaminated soil is removed from the rivers, agencies are recommending it be deposited in a containment area in Lake Michigan, north of the Lake Express ferry terminal. Doing this would be over $100 million cheaper than hauling the sediment to landfills.

The containment area would create new land at the harbor that would be reserved for public use. It would take 30 to 40 years before the 46 acres could be used for anything other than soil containment.

The Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments on the proposed new containment facility until Jan. 9.

Milwaukee is one of 10 places on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of waterways linked to the Great Lakes where cleanup efforts should occur. Federal funding could cover about 65% of the project cost.