Report: Great Lakes toxic cleanups lagging badly

September 15, 2009 By JOHN FLESHER , AP Environmental Writer

(AP) -- A federal report says the government is moving so slowly to clean up the most polluted sites in the Great Lakes that it will take 77 more years to finish the job at the current pace.

The inspector general's office with the U.S. released the report this week.

It deals with 31 so-called "areas of concern," which are river bottoms, harbors and other spots where sediments are heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals. The report estimates it will cost more than $2 billion to finish the cleanup.

It calls on EPA to establish a plan with clear lines of authority and accountability for each site.

The report says the agency has agreed to develop a limited management plan but hasn't gone far enough.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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