The St. Louis River U.S. Steel Superfund Site, located in Duluth, Minnesota, is a former steelmaking and wire mill facility that began operations in the early 1900s. Historic operations released hazardous substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals, into the environment. The Site was placed on the National Priories List in 1983 and includes 19 Operable Units in both wetland and upland areas. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency leads remedial activities at the site. In 2016, U.S. Steel began working with U.S. EPA GLNPO to develop a complimentary plan to clean up contaminated sediment under the authority of the Great Lakes Legacy Act; the project will be completed in early 2023.
The Lower St. Louis River provides important habitat for fish and wildlife species. Priority resource needs that have been identified for this area include conserving and enhancing near-shore shallow water fishery habitat, nesting and rearing habitat for shorebirds, and wetland habitat. Within these habitats at the U. S. Steel Site, aquatic plants, benthic invertebrates, benthic and predatory fish, migratory birds, surface water, sediment, groundwater and aquatic and terrestrial resources have been exposed to the hazardous substances and have potentially been adversely affected. In addition, recreational services have been reduced and Tribal lands are impacted.