Corps of Engineers Releases Chicago Area Waterway Dredged Material Management Plan and Integrated Environmental Assessment for Public Comment

Published June 9, 2015

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released on June 9, 2015 for public comment the “Chicago Area Waterways Dredged Material Management Plan and Integrated Environmental Assessment.”  The plan contains recommendations for managing material dredged from the Calumet Harbor and River and the Calumet-Sag Channel for the next twenty-five years.

    Calumet Harbor and River is located on Lake Michigan in the City of Chicago, Illinois. Maintenance dredging of the channel produces an average yearly volume of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of material. The downstream Calumet-Sag Channel, part of the Illinois Waterway, includes both the Calumet-Sag and a portion of the Little Calumet River. Approximately 30,000 cy of sediment is expected to be dredged from the Calumet-Sag Channel over the next 25 years. Levels of metals, PCBs and PAHs are sufficiently high to preclude unconfined placement of the river and channel sediment.

    Currently, dredged sediment is placed in the Chicago Area Confined Disposal Facility (CDF), located at the mouth of the Calumet River. The CDF, which was built in 1984, is nearly at capacity, creating the need for a management plan for the material generated through ongoing maintenance dredging.

    The proposed plan would include construction of a dredged material disposal facility on a currently vacant portion of the former Republic Steel Manufacturing Complex, located along the Calumet River at 122nd Street and Carondolet Avenue in Chicago, and closure of the existing Chicago Area CDF. Details about the project and a copy of the report can be found at .

     The Chicago Area Waterway System is an important link in the national and regional water transportation network, connecting the Great Lakes deep-draft navigation system with the Illinois Waterway and Mississippi River inland navigation system.

     Comments must be received by July 15, 2015 and may be submitted by mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, 231 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604, ATTN: Planning Branch; or via e-mail to .

     A public meeting to provide additional information about the report will be held on Monday, June 22, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 10500 S. Ewing Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Lynne Whelan
(312) 846-5330

Release no. 15-006