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Marc Tuchman
Great Lakes Legacy Act Program Manager

Ruddiman Creek Legacy Act Cleanup

Muskegon Lake Area of Concern

The $13.5 million dredging and cleanup project for Ruddiman Creek and Ruddiman Pond finished on schedule in 2006 and resulted in the removal of about 90,000 cubic yards of contaminated mud. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality oversaw the cleanup effort, which lasted about nine months.

Contaminants present in the creek and pond posed potential health risks to humans and wildlife exposed to the pollution. The cleanup project should help speed the lifting of fishing and recreation bans in effect on the main branch of Ruddiman Creek.
EPA and Michigan DEQ, in partnership with the citizen groups Muskegon Lake Public Advisory Council and the Ruddiman Creek Task Force, developed a contaminated sediment removal and site cleanup project for the creek and the pond.

The main contaminants of concern at Ruddiman Creek included lead, cadmium, chromium and polychorinated biphenyls, usually called PCBs. The project removed 126,000 pounds of lead, 2,800 pounds of cadmium, 204,000 pounds of chromium and 320 pounds of PCBs. After dredging was completed, the creek and pond were reconstructed and water flow patterns restored.

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