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Wisconsin Tribe Gets Grant To Continue Work On Lake Superior Munitions Barrels

Red Cliff Tribe Is Analyzing Impact Of Cold War Army Dumping

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A federal agency has awarded a northern Wisconsin tribe additional money to study whether more munitions barrels should be raised from Lake Superior. The U.S. Army dumped more than 1,400 barrels into the lake during the Cold War.

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has recovered 25 so far. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the tribe another $256,000 to pull together reports examining the recovery effort.

Project manager Gary Defoe, Jr. said the tribe hired a private contractor to analyze findings from the barrels, surrounding sediments and waters.

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“We want to keep the lake as clean as we can for our members to use, for the communities of the north and south shore to keep using,” he said. “We feel that it’s our duty to continue the investigation.”

Defoe said they’d like to raise and study at least 70 barrels to find out whether they pose a threat to people, wildlife or the environment. Cluster bomb detonators have been found in the barrels, but early findings show no cause for concern. Defoe said results from the contractor’s investigative report are due in mid-October.

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