Tannery Bay Legacy Act Cleanup

St. Marys River Area of Concern

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Phelps Dodge Corp. along with the state of Michigan shared the costs of an $8 million cleanup project on Tannery Bay, a polluted bay west of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Chromium and mercury from a former tannery polluted the bay, which is on St. Marys River, the connecting channel between lakes Superior and Huron. St. Marys River is a joint U.S.-Canadian “area of concern,” which marks the region for special environmental attention.

The project used $4.8 million in federal Great Lakes Legacy Act funds. Phelps Dodge, which owns the former Cannelton Industries tannery property, contributed $2.6 million. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, through the state’s Clean Michigan Initiative, provided $600,000 in funding.

The pollution was mainly byproducts from the Northwestern Leather Co. tannery that operated from 1900 to 1958. When the tannery was operating, waste was dumped into ditches and flowed into the bay where it settled in the mud (sediment).

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. SeeEPA’s PDF page to learn more.


News Releases

Project Agreement
Great Lakes Legacy Act Project Agreements (PAs) are negotiated agreements between U.S. EPA and the non-federal partner(s). A Project Agreement describes the project scope, the roles and responsibilities of all partners, and the cost sharing for the project.