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Calumet fire cleanup update

Village of Calumet Acting Manager Dave Geisler provided an update Tuesday on the cleanup efforts on Fifth Street following the devastating fire in late May. The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a plan to rehabilitate the site, but is searching for funding. It is unknown how long that process will take and the village is warning that it may not be until 2022.

The statement reads in full: “The Village of Calumet is working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, Calumet Township, and Houghton County on a plan to clean up the 5th Street fire debris. The EPA’s Emergency Response Branch is working with the agency’s Chicago and Washington offices to secure funding. If EPA receives funding, cleanup could begin this fall; otherwise, it would happen in the spring. In the meantime, the public should avoid contact with the debris as it presents both physical hazards and contains asbestos. We will share more information with residents about funding and the timeline in the coming weeks.”

Trustee Elise Matz says there are efforts to make the current situation as safe as possible.

The Village has taken steps to block the area off. We’re also keeping the pile wet to make sure asbestos does not blow around in the street.

The focus is on cleanup efforts right now, says Matz, with no decision made yet on what will replace the buildings that were lost.

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