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Info session being held for Superfund land owners

October 20, 2012
By Garrett Neese (gneese@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Owners of land in the Torch Lake Superfund site will be able to get information on keeping the pollution remedies on their land in place with a session at the Portage Lake District Library Tuesday.

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality will be at the library to talk with land owners about putting deed restrictions on their properties. The restrictions would ensure the land owners will not disturb the vegetative cover over the stamp stands. If they do remove any fill, it must be replaced with an equivalent amount.

Representatives will be at the library from 10 to noon Tuesday, followed by additional availability from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:45 p.m.

People who cannot attend Tuesday can contact EPA community involvement coordinator Dave Novak at 312-802-0680 to set up appointments during the rest of the week.

"We need these deed restrictions to make sure the protectiveness is maintained for the long run. ... This is something that has to be done for our delisting process," said Nabil Fayoumi, project manager for the EPA.

Another concern is not withdrawing water from the stamp stands themselves.

"From talking to well drillers, there's too many fines, and it wouldn't produce a good source anyway," said Scott Cornelius, project manager with the DEQ.

As of June, nine of 11 parcels in the Torch Lake Superfund site had not been delisted; three more are planned to be delisted by the end of the year.

Five of the remaining parcels - Boston Pond, Point Mills, Dollar Bay, Quincy Smelter and North Entry - need institutional controls, including the deed restrictions, before they can be delisted.

While the EPA will continue to monitor the caps after the delisting, the deed restrictions are one of the final hurdles to restoring local control of the sites, project managers said.

"This is a good news story, because we're finally going to get through this big process, and the remediation's complete," Cornelius said. "People can get back to more normal business, developing their properties and continuing their life up there."

 
 

 

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