PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles
Ohio EPA Seeks Input on Cleveland Harbor Dredging; Feb. 24 Public Hearing Set Regarding Annual Dredging Project
Maintenance dredging in the Cuyahoga River federal navigation channel will be the focus of a Feb. 24, 2015, Ohio EPA public meeting. The information session and hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at Cleveland Metroparks’ Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek, 2277 West Ridgewood Drive, Parma.
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 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.
During the Feb. 24 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 March 3, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The application and related materials are available for review online.
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.