Ontario has secured funding to clean up the contaminated sediment in a Great Lakes Area of Concern on Lake Superior near the town of Marathon.
Peninsula Harbour will be undergoing a final step to fix the historic contamination that put it on the list of Great Lakes toxic hot-spots.
The plan is to cover the most contaminated sediment, an area of 25.6 hectares, with a 15 to 20 centimetre cap of clean sand. The sediment is contaminated by mercury and PCBs from historical uncontrolled wastewater discharges throughout the 1950's into the 1970's from the local pulp and paper mill, a chemical plant, and from the municipal wastewater plant.
Contaminated sediment has been found in the harbour as far as a kilometer from the shoreline. This has negatively affected the quality of the water and the harbour eco-system including small organisms and fish.
Funding for the project includes a $3 million settlement from Ball Packaging, former owner of the now closed pulp and paper mill, and $1.6 million in provincial funding.
Work will begin in the spring of 2012 and is expected to be completed by the fall.