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Scott Ireland
Great Lakes National Program Office
(312) 886-8121

Grand Calumet River
Legacy Act Cleanup

Grand Calumet River Area of Concern

Progress of work on a section of the river between Calumet and Columbia Avenue.

Progress of work on a section of the river between Calumet and Columbia Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

Restoration and remedial efforts in the East Branch (Zone B) of the Grand Calumet River are in progress. The 1.8-mile stretch of the river from Indianapolis Boulevard to Hohman Avenue is currently undergoing projects designed to remove contaminants and restore habitat. 350,000 cubic yards of sediment are slated to be removed and a cap will be placed over the dredged sediment. Wetlands and nearshore habitats will be restored with native plants following the completion of the dredging, expected in 2016.

aerial view of project area showing work zones A through E

Aerial view of Grand Calumet River showing work zones A - E. (Click to enlarge)

Zone A - West Branch including Roxana Marsh

The West Branch portion of the cleanup was completed in 2012. This zone experienced two major remedial projects occurring at separate locations in the West Branch.

  • Dredging was completed in August 2011 at the Roxana Marsh stretch. Nearly 150,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment was remediated through the removal of the top two feet of sediment and the placement of a cap over the remaining sediment.
  • Dredging operations at the other end of the West Branch were completed in December 2011. About 235,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment were removed from the river between Columbia Avenue in Hammond, Indiana and Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago, Indiana. A cap covering 345,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment was placed over the dredged area. The cap consists of 6 inches of organoclay covered by an additional 12 inches of sand. Restoration of the site took place in spring 2012.

The West Branch portion of the project has remediated 730,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment. $81.1 million dollars were spent to successfully remove large quantities of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), heavy metals and pesticides from the river.

Roxana Marsh - May 2012 Roxana Marsh - June 2012 Roxana Marsh - June 2013

Restoration at Roxana Marsh progresses from May 2012 to June 2013.

Zone C - Hohman Avenue to state line

Zone C is located on the West Branch of the river between Hohman Avenue to the Indiana/Illinois state line. 11,700 cubic yards of contaminated sediment are targeted for removal and a cap will be placed over an additional 70,000 cubic yards of polluted sediment. Remedial efforts are also planned that include deep pool restoration and the revival of shallow marginal wetlands. The project is expected to begin in early 2014.

Zone D

Project negotiations began for Zone D in July 2013. Two projects are likely to be implemented from Cline Avenue to the terminus of the U.S. Steel dredging project, which was completed in 2007. The first project considers Ralston Street Lagoon as a sediment disposal location. In turn, a remedial effort would likely be executed that would accompany the sediment projects upstream of the site on the West Branch of the river. Activities to consider the viability of placing the sediments in the lagoon are anticipated for completion in 2014.

Zone E

Negotiations for Zone E have also begun. The final zone is actually a collection of the remaining Grand Calumet River segments within East Chicago, Indiana. The parts of Grand Calumet River that have not been remediated will undergo a remedial investigation, feasibility study and remedial design, which are expected to be completed in 2015. The project will also address parts of the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not intend on dredging.


EPA is providing 65 percent of the project costs with funds designated for the Great Lakes Legacy Act. The State of Indiana is providing the remaining 35 percent of costs using Natural Resources Damage Assessment funds. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Indiana Department of Natural Resources are collaborating on these projects.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.


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