Fraser Shipyards plans bay cleanup
Superior's Fraser Shipyards is planning an environmental cleanup of Howard's Bay. The cleanup goes hand-in-hand with ongoing projects to update and improve the shipyard facility through a three-phase dock project. "This was a heavy industrial are...
Superior’s Fraser Shipyards is planning an environmental cleanup of Howard’s Bay.
The cleanup goes hand-in-hand with ongoing projects to update and improve the shipyard facility through a three-phase dock project.
“This was a heavy industrial area over the years,” said Jason Serck, Superior’s economic development, port and planning director.
With the help of federal money from the Environmental Protection Agency, Fraser Shipyards is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop a plan to clean up a heritage of contamination.
During the Hog Island cleanup that was completed in 2005, Serck said, the city played a major role in the disposal of sediment, and the city again help take some of the sediment from Howard’s Bay, also known as Howard’s Pocket.
“It won’t be all of it … but we’ve been asked to look at some options for disposal,” Serck told the Superior City Council on Tuesday night.
Tom Curelli, operations manager for Fraser Shipyards, said the goal is to get rid of the encumbrances in the water and mitigate contaminants discovered through testing - lead and tributyltin, a biocide used to prevent the growth of marine organisms on the hulls of large ships.
“It’s not the worst thing - it’s not glowing in the dark,” Curelli said. “It’s not hurting the habitat. It’s not a chronic thing, but it does need to be cleaned up … it’s got to be addressed and we’ve got to get it done now.”
Curelli said the planning for the project is expected to take about a year.
Just doing the initial phase is going to cost about $710,000 - $450,000 of which will be paid for with federal money, Curelli said. The DNR and Fraser are responsible for the remaining 35 percent of the cost.
Serck said if the City Council approves being involved in the proposal, the city’s contribution would be in-kind rather than a monetary contribution. Sediment suitable for the landfill could be used for cover, he said.
Curelli said the shipyard will provide more information before asking the City Council to help with the project.
“We’re not asking for funding,” Curelli said. “We’re asking for in-kind contributions. Moccasin Mike (landfill) perhaps or something else, but it’s not going to be a budgetary item.”