"Report: Great Lakes Toxic Cleanups Lagging Badly"

"TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Cleanup of the most polluted sites in the Great Lakes is moving so slowly it will take 77 more years to finish the job at the existing pace, according to a federal report.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency still does not know the full extent of the problem even though the highly contaminated spots were identified two decades ago, said the report by the agency's inspector general. ...

Toxic sediment cleanup is among the goals of a $20 billion Great Lakes restoration plan developed by government agencies and nonprofit groups in 2005.

President Barack Obama has pledged $5 billion toward carrying out the plan and requested $475 million in his 2010 budget. Roughly one-fourth of that amount would be devoted to the cleanups.

The plan estimates the total cleanup price at $2.25 billion in federal money, with state and local governments kicking in an additional $1.2 billion."

John Flesher reports for the Associated Press September 15, 2009.

Source: AP, 09/16/2009