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GLIN==> Framework points way to beneficial uses for bothersome sludge

Title: Framework points way to beneficial uses for bothersome sludge

Helps solve environmental challenges in disposing of dredged material
Framework points way to beneficial uses for bothersome sludge
Ann Arbor, Mich. A significant problem in navigation channel maintenance dredging is finding ways to dispose of the resulting material. A recently published guide from the Great Lakes Commission addresses that problem by showing how that material can be put to productive uses in upland areas.

The guide, Testing and Evaluating Dredged Material for Upland Beneficial Uses: a Regional Framework for the Great Lakes, addresses how to efficiently identify and implement appropriate beneficial uses for dredged material of different types under various circumstances. It is available online at

Intended for dredged material managers, state and local regulators, and other interested parties, the guide responds to a need identified by the Great Lakes Dredging Team, a federal-state partnership, whose Beneficial Use Task Force noted that, while there are numerous safe uses for dredged material in upland environments, the lack of guidance to assess their suitability presents a serious obstacle.

Dredged material managers and regulators within the region have hailed the Framework as a much-needed guidance document.

“Before the Framework, there was no approved method for evaluating proposed upland beneficial use projects,” said Duane Roskoskey, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. “The Framework offers a consistent risk-based regional approach to ensure the environmentally safe application of dredged material in upland environments.”

The publication takes the reader through a step-by-step process for evaluating potential upland uses and testing dredged materials to ensure the use is environmentally safe. It also presents a series of case scenarios and regulatory criteria that might be encountered in implementing these projects in each of the Great Lakes states. A separate annotated bibliography serves as a companion document and includes citations and descriptions for the more than 200 references that are used throughout the guide.

In addition to filling a need within the Great Lakes region, the Framework has gained national recognition as well. Dr. Robert Engler, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., called the Framework’s approach precedent-setting and said it will be placed on the Corp’s National Beneficial Uses Web Site for others to use.

“The Great Lakes Commission is to be commended for the forward-looking and innovative approaches used in Testing and Evaluating Dredged Material for Upland Beneficial Uses,” Engler said. “The use of this approach in the management of dredged material creates a win-win situation, with the potential for significant cost savings while resulting in a cleaner environment.”

The report was produced by a team of collaborators that included members of the Commission staff, regulatory officials from each Great Lakes state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maritime Administration. Funding was provided by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office.

The guide and bibliography may be downloaded at
www.glc.org/docs/subject.html?sc=sr. Print copies are available at nominal cost from the Great Lakes Commission.

Contact: Victoria Pebbles, Great Lakes Commission,


The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by the Hon. Thomas Huntley (Minn.), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great LakesSt. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials and governors’ appointees from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Shannon R. Glutting
Great Lakes Commission
Webmaster/Publications Designer