2/20/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Settles

Public Invited to Comment on Cleveland Harbor Dredging Project

Maintenance dredging in the Cuyahoga River federal navigation channel will be the focus of a March 6, 2014, Ohio EPA public meeting in Cleveland. The information session and public hearing will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, 1962 Stokes Boulevard.

Ohio EPA is holding the meeting to accept comments concerning an application by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge up to 475,000 cubic yards of material in Cleveland Harbor. The applicant is requesting to open-lake dispose up to 180,000 cubic yards of the dredged material into Lake Erie. The remaining material would be disposed at existing confined disposal facilities located near the Burke Lakefront Airport. Ohio EPA also is evaluating alternative plans with less or no environmental impact.

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 and the Cuyahoga River, 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.

Comments on the application may be presented at the hearing, submitted in writing to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, attn: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 or emailed to dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov. The public comment period ends March 13.

The application and related materials are available online.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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