beneficial use impairments recognized by the International Joint Commission (IJC), six have
been identified for the Waukegan Harbor AOC, including: (1) restrictions on fish and wildlife
consumption; (2) beach closings; (3) degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations;
(4) loss of fish and wildlife habitat; (5) degradation of benthos; and (6) restrictions on dredging
activities. A Stage 3 RAP for the Waukegan Harbor AOC was completed and released in July of
1999. Environmental conditions in the AOC have improved due to remediation activities and
dredging. Fish from Waukegan Harbor are monitored on a yearly basis to monitor progress.
During the past two years, numerous events have helped move Waukegan Harbor towards the
formulation of a final remedy. Under the Great Lakes Strategy 2002, the U.S. Policy Committee
identified a goal of delisting three AOCs by 2005, with a cumulative total of ten by 2010.
Waukegan Harbor represents a clear opportunity for delisting, provided that sediment
remediation in the harbor takes place in a timely manner. On April 22, 2003, U.S. EPA
announced the designation of the Waukegan Cleanup and Revitalization project as an
Environmental Justice Demonstration Project. Selection for this project officially designates
Waukegan as an environmental justice community. An economic study conducted by the
Northeast Midwest Institute, found that remediation of the AOC could provide significant
economic benefits to the city of Waukegan and Lake County. In October 2003, the Great Lakes
Governors announced priorities for the Great Lakes including a similar set of priorities found in
the 2002 Great Lakes Strategy and the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP). On
May 18, 2004, the President signed an Executive Order setting up a high level Federal Task
Force to coordinate the agencies work in the Great Lakes basin.
Restoration of Beneficial Uses
1. Contaminated Sediments
Contaminated sediments are a major impediment to delisting Waukegan Harbor as a Great Lakes
AOC and may directly impact the following beneficial use impairments: restrictions on
dredging, restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, and degradation of benthos. However,
there is an immediate opportunity for U.S. EPA, Illinois EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, and local stakeholders to cooperate on a sediment remediation project in Waukegan
Harbor. The Great Lakes Legacy Act and/or the Water Resources Development Act provide the
potential opportunity to bring significant amount of federal funds to assist in remediation of
Waukegan Harbor. However, to make use of these funding sources in a timely manner (Great
Lakes Legacy Act funding is authorize only through FY2008) will require tight coordination
between the state, federal, and local agencies on technical, policy, permitting, and funding issues.
Some of these issues include:
Schedule: In order to maintain a schedule that will allow for remedial implementation in
FY2006 tight coordination between the agencies is required. An approximate schedule for
additional work that is required is provided below. Any delays in making policy, technical,
and/or permitting decisions, or the lack of funding, could lead to a missed opportunity for
utilizing the federal funding sources and significant delays in the schedule:
§ Fall/Winter 2004: Design and Implement Sampling Plan for Collecting all required Pre-design
data required to evaluate remedial alternatives.
§ Winter/Spring 2005: Complete evaluation of remedial alternatives and select remedy.
§ Summer/Fall 2005: Complete design work and obtain permits.
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