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Flint River dredging project moves into final phase

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Crews began dredging the Flint River in the spring

A major project to remove century old contamination from the Flint River is moving into its final phase.

Last week, crews finished dredging part of the Flint River bottom to remove the last remnants of coal tar from the sediment. The coal tar came from a coal gasification plant that shut down in the 1920s.

Kevin Keane is a spokesman for Consumers Energy, which owned the plant and is paying an undisclosed sum to clean up the site.

“The capping of the river bottom will take at least until November,” says Keane, “and then of course there is considerable restoration of the landscaping that will ensue.”

Keane says trees will be planted along the riverbank next spring.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.