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Red Cliff: Recovery of barrels from Lake Superior complete

The effort to recover Cold War-era Department of Defense ammunition barrels from the bottom of Lake Superior is over. Now, investigators will test the contents to see if they are a health or environmental hazard.

The effort to recover Cold War-era Department of Defense ammunition barrels from the bottom of Lake Superior is over. Now, investigators will test the contents to see if they are a health or environmental hazard.

Project managers, the Defense Department and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are not granting interviews about the progress of the $3.3 million project, but a post on the Red Cliff website says they have safely and successfully completed the recovery and will report their findings in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Marine Safety Zone around the recovery site has been lifted. Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer Jud Coleman said there were no problems or violations during the recovery project.

"It allowed them to proceed with the project and it was also in place to prevent interested boaters from getting too close in the event that they recovered something hazardous," he said.

He wouldn't comment on whether any hazards did surface in the safety zone.

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"That's not something I can -- that's on the other side of things," he said.

The tribe had hoped to raise 70 barrels. The program is being funded by a Department of Defense program that cleans up munitions dump sites in Indian Country.

Wisconsin Public Radio is heard locally on 91.3 KUWS-FM and online at wpr.org .

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