MEDIA CONTACTS:  Lynn Garrity, Ohio Lake Erie Commission, (614) 506-0619
                                   Anthony Chenault, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160

Ohio Lake Erie Commission Requests Public Comments about Ashtabula River Area of Concern

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are accepting comments for the proposed removal of a beneficial use impairment that restricts navigational dredging activities within the Ashtabula River Area of Concern

Beneficial use impairments (BUI) identify specific problems that can prevent a water body from meeting its full water quality potential. The Ohio Lake Erie Commission and Ohio EPA are recommending the removal of the “restrictions on navigational dredging activities” BUI. Recent sampling results show that dredged material in the area of concern is suitable for beneficial use. 

A summary of the proposed recommendation is available here.

This beneficial use impairment is the last remaining of the initial six BUIs for the Ashtabula Area of Concern. If the restrictions on navigational dredging activities BUI is removed, the process can begin for delisting this section of the Ashtabula River as a designated area of concern.   
Written comments will be accepted through Aug. 24, 2020. Comments can be mailed to Ohio EPA – DSW Northeast District Office, Attn: Melanie Barbis, 2110 East Aurora Road, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087, or email melanie.barbis@epa.ohio.gov.

OLEC was established to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promote economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and five additional members appointed by the governor.


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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