A Summary of the Pointe Mouillee Confined Disposal Facility,
CORPS OF ENGINEERS DETROIT MI DETROIT DISTRICT
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The Detroit River, one of the Great Lakes Connecting Channels, is the only access to the Upper Great Lakes for a very large volume of waterborne cargo. In recent years, the annual tonnage, not including Canadian cargo, has ranged from 111 million tons in 1965 to 78.5 million tons in 1977. The volume shipped is dependent upon need and channel depth. Above average water levels in the Great Lakes have allowed fairly unrestricted movement of ships through the shipping lanes. But, if the lakes drop, this will no longer be the case as the Detroit River channel has not been dredged since 1969, and has become dangerously less than the depths needed to provide safe drafts of 25.5 ft below the International Great Lakes Datum IGLD. The major underlying reason for no dredging during this time period is the lack of an approved disposal area for the polluted dredged material. The US Environmental Protection Agency classified the sediments of the Detroit River as polluted. In accordance with the agreement with the State of Michigan, no open-lake disposal of polluted materials can be made in the waters of the state.
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control