PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Settles
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Public Invited to Comment on Ashtabula Harbor Dredging Project

Maintenance dredging of the Ashtabula Harbor federal navigation channel and its potential to impact Lake Erie water quality will be the focus of an April 9, 2012, Ohio EPA public meeting. The information session and public hearing will begin at 5 p.m. at the Harbor-Topky Memorial Library, 1633 Walnut Boulevard, Ashtabula.

Ohio EPA is holding the meeting to accept comments concerning a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers application to dredge up to 230,000 cubic yards of harbor bottom. Approximately 165,000 cubic yards of the material would be disposed at Pond 5C in the Elkem embankment in Ashtabula Township. The remaining 65,000 cubic yards would be disposed at the existing open-lake area in Lake Erie.

Anyone wanting to discharge dredged or fill material to waters of the State must first obtain a water quality certification from Ohio EPA and a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ohio EPA’s review is to ensure the project will comply with Ohio’s water quality standards.

The proposed project may result in a change from the current water quality conditions of Lake Erie, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA will consider the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project before deciding to issue or deny a water quality certification.

Anyone interested in being placed on a mailing list for this project or submitting written comments concerning the application should write to: Ohio EPA, DSW Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 or dswcomments@epa.state.oh.us. The public comment period ends April 16, 2012.

The application and related materials are available online.

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