Harbor dredging could stir up PCB-contaminated sediments

Capital News Service
LANSING – Dredging may be a solution to part of the Great Lakes low water problem, but it can also lead to contaminated sediments re-merging into the water, experts warn. A new law provides an additional $20.9 million for 58 emergency harbor dredging projects this year to help recreational and commercial boaters operate in low water levels. The most common contaminant in the bottom of the Great Lakes is polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs, according to the Department of Natural Resources. PCBs got into the water because of automotive industries near the lakes, said Andy Buchsbaum, director of the Great Lakes office of the National Wildlife Federation in Ann Arbor. “A lot of PCB-laced oil was used by the automobile industry before it was banned and “leaked into the ground and ultimately found its way into the Great Lakes,” he said.