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Areas of Concern

Common Acronyms
  • AOC Area of Concern
  • BUI Beneficial Use Impairment
  • CMP/EIS Chemical Management Plan or Environmental Impact Statement
  • GLNPO Great Lakes National Program Office
  • PAC Public Advisory Council
  • RAP Remedial Action Plan
2014 AOC Annual Conference: Accelerating Progress in BUI Removals and AOC Delisting

March 18-19, 2014 EPA Region 5, 77 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

Contact John Perrecone (perrecone.john@epa.gov) to register at 312-353-1149.

Conference agenda and webinar information

The U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Annex 2 of the 1987 Protocol) defines AOCs as "geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the agreement where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of the area's ability to support aquatic life." More simply put, an AOC is a location that has experienced environmental degradation.

Area of Concern State Contact
Ashtabula River Ohio Amy Mucha (mucha.amy@epa.gov) 312-886-6785
Black River Ohio Karen Rodriguez (rodriguez.karen@epa.gov) 312-353-2690
Buffalo River New York Fred Luckey (luckey.frederick@epa.gov) 212-637-3853
Mary Beth Giancarlo (giancarlo.marybeth@epa.gov) 312-886-2253
Clinton River Michigan Sue Virgilio (virgilio.susan@epa.gov) 312-886-4244
Cuyahoga River Ohio Karen Rodriguez (rodriguez.karen@epa.gov)
Deer Lake Michigan Mark Loomis (loomis.mark@epa.gov) 312-886-0406
Detroit River Michigan Rose Ellison (ellison.rosanne@epa.gov) 734-692-7689
Eighteen Mile Creek New York Alicia Reinmund (reinmund.alicia@epa.gov) 212-637-3827
Lower Green Bay & Fox River Wisconsin Michael Bryant (bryant.michael@epa.gov) 312-886-5266
Grand Calumet River Indiana Scott Ireland (ireland.scott@epa.gov) 312-886-8121
Kalamazoo River Michigan Sue Virgilio (virgilio.susan@epa.gov) 312-886-4244
Manistique River Michigan Amy Mucha (mucha.amy@epa.gov) 312-886-6785
Maumee River Ohio Kevin O'Donnell (odonnell.thomas@epa.gov) 312-886-0813
Menominee River Wisconsin Michael Bryant (bryant.michael@epa.gov) 312-886-5266
Milwaukee Estuary Wisconsin Heather Williams (williams.heather@epa.gov) 312-886-5993
Muskegon Lake Michigan Mark Loomis (loomis.mark@epa.gov) 312-886-0406
Niagara River New York Elizabeth VanRabenswaay (vanrabenswaay.elizabeth@epa.gov) 212-637-3881
Oswego River DELISTED New York John Perrecone (perrecone.john@epa.gov) 312-353-1149
Presque Isle Bay DELISTED Pennsylvania John Perrecone (perrecone.john@epa.gov) 312-353-1149
River Raisin Michigan Scott Cieniawski (cieniawkski.scott@epa.gov) 312-353-9184
Rochester Embayment New York Alicia Reinmund-Martinez (reinmund.alicia@epa.gov) 212-637-3827
Brenda Jones (jones.brenda@epa.gov) 312-886-7188
Rouge River Michigan Rose Ellison (ellison.rosanne@epa.gov) 734-692-7689
Saginaw River and Bay Michigan Diana Mally (mally.diana@epa.gov) 312-886-7275
Sheboygan River Wisconsin Ted Smith (smith.edwin@epa.gov) 312-353-6571
St. Clair River Michigan Rose Ellison (ellison.rosanne@epa.gov) 734-692-7689
St. Lawrence River at Massena New York Elizabeth VanRabenswaay (vanrabenswaay.elizabeth@epa.gov) 212-637-3881
St. Louis River & Bay Minnesota/
Scott Cieniawski (cieniawkski.scott@epa.gov) 312-353-9184
St. Marys River Michigan Ted Smith (smith.edwin@epa.gov) 312-353-6571
Torch Lake Michigan Brenda Jones (jones.brenda@epa.gov) 312-886-7188
Waukegan Harbor Illinois Scott Cieniawski (cieniawkski.scott@epa.gov) 312-353-9184
White Lake Michigan John Perrecone (perrecone.john@epa.gov) 312-353-1149

How are they being addressed?

Remedial Action Plans (RAPs)

The two federal governments cooperate with state and provincial governments to develop and implement Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for each Area of Concern.

Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs)

RAPs address impairments to any one of 14 beneficial uses (e.g., restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, dredging activities, or drinking water consumption) associated with these areas. See the complete list of Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) Exit EPA Disclaimer

Sediments are a serious problem in many AOCs.

Delisting Criteria

How many AOCs are there?

43 AOCs have been identified:

How many AOCs have been delisted?

Two U.S. AOCs have been delisted:

29 AOCs remain which are wholly in the U.S. or shared with Canada.

Three Canadian AOCs have been delisted:

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