WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, Congressman Bill Huizenga, co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, released this statement after the EPA announced a $6.6 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Project will be launched to clean up the Ryerson Creek in Muskegon.

The Ryerson Creek Outfall is a 12-acre site located on the shores of Muskegon Lake that is contaminated with petroleum, metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $4.3 million through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. EGLE (MDEQ) will provide $1 million in cash and in-kind contributions, including the use of Muskegon County’s landfill for sediment disposal, and TDY Industries will contribute consulting services.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative continues to play a vital role in making West Michigan an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “This major investment in Muskegon County will help clean up legacy pollution stemming from timber operations, automotive production, and coal gasification operations. It is my hope that after removing these contaminated sediments, habitat restoration projects can begin, followed by the delisting of Muskegon Lake as an area of concern.”

In October of 2018, 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment was successfully removed utilizing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at the former Zephyr Oil Refinery in Muskegon Township. To delist Muskegon Lake as an area of concern, 11 management actions have been identified and are scheduled to be completed by 2020 or 2021. After the completion of the Ryerson Creek Project, the remaining projects will address habitat restoration such as restoring wetlands as well as local fish and wildlife populations according to the EPA.