Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

White Lake Removed From "Toxic Hot Spot" List

White Lake, an inland lake on the western coast of Michigan just north of Muskegon, is a beautiful 7-mile-long body of water that flows into Lake Michigan. It has the reputation of being a relaxing vacation destination, but, sadly, it also had the dubious distinction of being one of 14 “toxic hot spots” on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) "Areas of Concern" list.

The lake was reportedly contaminated by industrial discharge that polluted the lake with chloroform, tetrachloride and various other volatile organic and chemical compounds, according to EPA. White Lake was in rough shape for many years, but fortunately, through the City of Whitehall’s Lake Street Reconstruction project, the pollution problems have been addressed and rectified. The lake is now on track to be classified as an “Area of Recovery."

By October, the expectation is that White Lake will be removed from EPA's Areas of Concern list. Efforts to clean up these polluted sites have been underway for almost 30 years. White Lake could potentially be the first Michigan Area of Concern to be removed from the toxic hot spot list. According to an article on Michigan Radio’s website, only two Areas of Concern sites in the U.S. and three in Canada have ever been officially delisted.

The official “Area of Recovery” designation and subsequent removal from the Areas of Concern list could take until the end of 2014, according to the article.

For more information, visit epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/whitelake.

Photo courtesy of Doc Searls

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