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Minnesota regulators investigate removal of military waste from Lake Superior

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Lake Superior shoreline
Lake Superior shoreline

DULUTH, MN (WTAQ) - Minnesota’s environmental regulators say they’re investigating the removal of 25 barrels of military waste from Lake Superior, and how they were taken away.

Wisconsin’s Red Cliff Indian tribe coordinated the removal of barrels dumped during the Cold War.

The Duluth News Tribune said Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency wanted to know how the barrels were transported through the Gopher State without required permits or advance notice.

Early reports said the barrels would be shipped through Wisconsin – but the DNR said the plan was to move the waste through the Gopher State.

The tribe said last week that the barrels contained bomb parts mixed with small explosive devices – but there was no immediate threat to humans or the environment. The tribe’s report also said there were no signs of radioactivity, and that it would take several months for a complete analysis to be released.

The tribe was given over $3 million in federal dollars to conduct the removal of the barrels last summer. The barrels were dumped 1 to 5 miles off the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior, from about Duluth to Two Harbors. 

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