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Toussaint River Dredging with Ordnance Contamination

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Conference proceedings

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On September 25, 1991, while doing a maintenance dredging operation at the mouth of the Toussaint River, a live 106mm High Explosive Anti-Tank HEAT round was discovered stuck in the cutterhead of the dredge and it was removed by hand. Picture in your mind this contractor wedging a crowbar between the cutterhead and the live round trying to dislodge it. Luckily the round did not explode, but the routine maintenance project came to an abrupt end. The Toussaint River is adjacent to the former Erie Army Depot, active from 1918 to September 1965. One of the depots missions was to proof test artillery ammunition. This was accomplished by firing at targets on or near the beach and out into Lake Erie. Over the years large amounts of ammunition, both live and inert, have been washing up onto the shore. This has contaminated the shallow waters off the beach some getting caught in fishermens nets, and some ending up in the Toussaint River channel. In July of 1991, the Former Erie Army Depot was declared eligible for cleanup under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program-Formerly Used Defense Site DERP-FUDS. In the fall of 1992 an Interim Removal Action IRA was conducted by Explosives Ordnance Disposal Technology EODT. They removed and disposed of approximately 5,000 rounds of various ammunition items 60mm to 165mm from a three mile long by 500 feet wide beach front. A Revised Inventory Project Report INPR was written in June 1994 to include the Toussaint River and Dredge Disposal Area as eligible for cleanup under DERP-FUDS. Preparation for an Engineering EvaluationCost Analysis EECA to study the cleanup of ordnance contamination at former Erie Army Depot started. The EECA was terminated on November 24, 1994 because rights-of-entry were not given from the current owners. On July 10, 1995, after considerable delay due to equipment and logistic problems, the Toussaint River Dredging Demonstration began.

Subject Categories:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Ammunition and Explosives

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