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Feds say slow pace on Great Lakes toxic site cleanup may take 77 years

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An effort to clean up the most toxic sites on the Great Lakes is going so slowly, it would take 77 more years to get it all done at its current pace.

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That's according to the inspector general's office for the federal EPA.

That office analyzed the proposed clean-ups of almost six dozen sites on the Great Lakes which were identified as early as the late 1980s.

At the request of former President Bush, a task force recommended $20 million in clean-ups in 2005.

But the report sat on the shelf while Congress refused to approve funding.

President Obama has promised to spend $5 billion toward those clean-ups.

He has budgeted $475 million for next year, about a quarter of which would clean up the most toxic sites where the lake bottoms are filled with old mercury, PCBs, and wastes from heavy metals.

Those areas are as a little as one square mile, and as large as hundreds of miles.

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