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EPA signs $2.9 million deal for Detroit River cleanup

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed a $2.9 million agreement to tackle contaminated sediment along the Detroit River, U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence announced Tuesday.

People fish on the Detroit River near Grosse Ile on April 3.

The cleanup, slated to start this summer, involves one of 43 "toxic hotspots" in the Great Lakes basin, her office said in a statement.

The work will be partly funded by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, which has agreed to contribute up to 35% of the projected cost, according to the release.

The effort is part of the larger Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program annually funded by Congress.

Last week, EPA said the fund aimed at protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species and promoting habitat restoration would receive $20 million more from Congress, or $320 million, during fiscal year 2020.

Lawrence's office said the cleanup "has become especially important" since a dock collapse last year at an industrial site along the river.

“Throughout my time in office, one of my main priorities has been to fight for a clean and safe environment for my constituents,” said Lawrence, a Southfield Democrat in her third term. “Once again, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative proves to be an invaluable resource for improving our wetlands, and in this case, providing Detroiters with a new space to enjoy the riverfront free from contaminants.”