Under the U.S EPA’s Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the U.S. and Canadian governments agreed to restore and maintain the physical, biological, and chemical integrity of the Great Lakes. Lakewide action and management plans, known as LaMPs, provide blueprints for assessing, restoring, protecting, and monitoring the ecosystem health of each lake and its connecting river system.
Lake Superior’s LaMP includes a zero-discharge demonstration program aimed at eliminating the anthropogenic emission and discharge of nine bioaccumulative substances, including mercury, dioxins, and pesticides, into the Lake Superior basin by 2020. Every five years, the program assesses the progress made toward that goal.
Working with Battelle and coordinating with our Canadian counterpart, Barr developed the 2015 U.S. chemical source inventory pertaining to the program’s reduction target. Our work included updating data on emissions, discharges, sources, and spills of the nine substances in the Lake Superior watershed; calculating yearly production data and population-based loads for each substance; preparing graphs and tables presenting the updated information, and recommending strategies for further reducing emissions and discharges.