2/5/15
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle

Ohio EPA Seeks Input on Toledo Harbor Dredging and Army Corps’ Analysis; Feb. 18 Public Meeting Set Regarding Annual Dredging Project

Ohio EPA will hold a public information session and hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, to accept comments on a proposal for the annual dredging of the Toledo Harbor federal navigational channel. The meeting will take place at Toledo City Council Chambers, One Government Center, 640 Jackson St., Toledo.

In a related matter, Ohio EPA is also seeking public comments until Feb. 9 on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ report "Influence of Open-Lake Placement of Dredged Material on Western Lake Erie Basin Harmful Algal Blooms" and the Corps’ position relative to open lake disposal of dredge material into Lake Erie.

Annual Dredging Application

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has submitted an application for a water quality certification for the project, which involves dredging the upper lake approach channel and lower end of the river channel near the river’s mouth. Dredged material would be disposed in the approved open lake disposal area located about 3.5 miles from the Toledo Harbor lighthouse. Dredging would not start before July 1 and would not occur during storm events.

During the Feb. 18 information session, Ohio EPA representatives will present details about the proposed project. During the hearing, which follows the information session, the public can submit comments and questions for the record regarding the application.

Ohio EPA will accept written comments on the annual dredging application through Feb. 25, 2015. Anyone may submit written comments or request to be placed on a mailing list for information by writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or emailing epa.dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov. The application and related materials are available for review online.

Army Corps of Engineers Report

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report analyzes the potential contribution of open lake disposal of dredge material to nutrient availability and its relationship to harmful algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie. The report and appendices are available at: wwwapp.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/USACE/. Ohio EPA will review comments submitted to dsw.webmail@epa.ohio.gov by Feb. 9, 2015.

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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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