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Funding Available to Study Toxins in Lake Michigan

Grants are being given out to study toxins that end up in the Great Lakes. (michigan.gov)
Grants are being given out to study toxins that end up in the Great Lakes. (michigan.gov)
July 7, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana is looking for groups to study the Great Lakes.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is giving out grants as part of the Great Lakes Air Deposition program (GLAD).

The idea is to see where toxins are being deposited and understand how they adversely affect both human health and the ecosystem.

Scott Deloney, chief of the programs branch of IDEM's Office of Air Quality, says much of the focus of the study centers around the steel mills that dot the southern part of Lake Michigan.

"Producing steel, there will be certain levels of lead and mercury released,” he points out. “What the GLAD program does, is it enables us to better evaluate the deposition of those types of pollutants and determine what impact they are having on the waterway. "

Deloney says toxic pollutants entering the air and water near those steel mills impact all of the Great Lakes.

Private business, colleges and universities interested in grant funding have until Aug. 10 to submit an application.

Since the GLAD program began, Deloney says 35 different studies about toxic pollutants have been funded in Indiana.

"Some of the projects involved before include waterways that feed into the Great Lakes, or land-based projects that are evaluating the emissions that are released into the air that are deposited into the Great Lakes system," he says.

The grant money last year went to fund a study of mercury concentration around large power plants.

Deloney says the state is looking at several different ways pollutants get into the lakes.

"Wet deposition, dry deposition and litter fall, which is where the dry deposition settles on leaves and vegetation, which later in the year fall onto the ground and end up, you know, washing away into waterways," he explains.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN