The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will begin dredging Cleveland Harbor next month to help facilitate the shipping season.
Previously the Corps had said it would stop dredging the harbor unless it received a permit to dump the material directly into Lake Erie. The Ohio EPA opposed the move.
The Corps says it will place the approximately 225,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Cuyahoga River in a confined disposal facility or CDF. It says the placement of the sediment in the CDF is a one-time occurrence based on unique circumstances
The Corps says it will work with the Ohio EPA and other agencies to pursue a sustainable solution for 2015 and onward.
The Ohio EPA released the following statement:
We are pleased to learn the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will follow our direction to not dispose contaminated Cuyahoga River dredge material in Lake Erie this year.
Lake Erie is a valuable asset to the state of Ohio and dumping dredge material in Lake Erie is not a sound practice. For more than 40 years, Ohio EPA has only allowed these contaminated materials to be disposed of in safe confined disposal facilities. Ohio EPA will continue to protect Lake Erie, a treasured resource in our state, from unnecessary threats. We are committed to working with the USACE and our other local, state and federal partners to find protective, sustainable and alternative uses for the dredged material in the future.