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EPA agrees to start Calumet fire cleanup in September

The Village of Calumet announced Wednesday afternoon that it has come to an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the rubble left from the Fifth Street Fire by October. In a previous update, the village had warned that next spring was looking more likely.

According to the EPA fact sheet, parts of Fourth and Portland Streets, as well as a section of Agassiz Park will need to be closed while work is ongoing. It should take about 60 days to complete. The main concern of the agency is the asbestos found in the historical structures that is now exposed and free to spread along the wind.

The village has been actively watering the site to help tamp those contaminants down. Barriers around the ruins are more secure now, borrowed from a local quarry. The stone blocks are traditionally used in retaining walls.

The basements of the buildings will be backfilled when the work is done.

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