November 13, 2008
Several federal and state agencies are working together to restore balance to the pH-levels in waters downstream from a three-and-a-half mile stretch of FS 3030 Road (known as Coffman Cove Road), which runs through the Tongass National Forest.
Crews are widening the road that connects Coffman Cove to Prince of Wales Highway from a one-lane dirt road into a two-lane paved road. The pH imbalance resulted from the interaction between rock used to build up the road bed, and muskeg soils in which that rock was placed. The clean-up project is located near Hatchery Creek along the southeastern edge of Sweetwater Lake.
Since mid-September, an inter-agency task force has been completing a time-critical removal of the roadbed materials suspected of causing the pH imbalance, and replacing it with calcium-rich rock from a different source on Prince of Wales Island.
Forest Service and other agency officials will be on hand at the open house to present maps and monitoring information on the project, as well as answer questions about the next phase of corrective action options.
Because the road construction project is loated on the Tongass National Forest, the Forest Service is the lead agency in the cooperative clean-up. Partnering agencies include the Federal Highway Administration's Western Federal Lands and Highways Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Alaska Department of Transportation, Department of the Environment and Conservation, and the Department of Fish and Game.
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