EPA agrees with Great Lakes cleanup report

The Environmental Protection Agency says it agrees with an internal watchdog report saying the pace of cleaning up the Great Lakes needs to be accelerated.

The report, released yesterday, says it could take 77 years to clean up contaminated sediment in the Great Lakes at the current pace of remediation.

Cameron Davis, a senior advisor to the EPA administrator, said increased funding will put clean-ups on a much faster track.

"With the increased funding, it will be faster, and we anticipate being able to clean up many more areas of concern and toxic hotspots around the Great Lakes," Davis said.

Some environmental groups are raising questions about the report as well. Darrell Gerber of Clean Water Action said the clean up of the Great Lakes has been too slow, but yesterday's report missed the real problem.

"The real problem is in the resources," Gerber said. "There is some stuff that can be done and they are taking steps to be able to do that. But I think they missed the opportunity to really identify the real problems there and make recommendations along those lines."

There are 31 so-called "Areas of Concern," including the St. Louis River Area near Duluth.

Later this month, the U.S. Senate is expected to take up a spending bill that would increase funding for Great Lakes clean up.

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