Ohio EPA will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2013, to accept comments on a proposal to dredge the Sandusky Harbor federal navigational channel. The meeting will be held at Sandusky City Council Chambers, 222 Meigs St.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo, N.Y., has applied for a water quality certification for the project. The Corps’ preferred option would be to dredge approximately 450,000 cubic yards of sediment and dispose of it in a designated open lake area in Lake Erie.
Ohio EPA also will consider alternative plans with less or no environmental impact. The Corps’ minimal degradation alternative is to dredge and open lake dispose 225,000 cubic yards of sediment. Dredging would not start before July 1 and would not occur during storm events.
During the 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.
The federal Clean Water Act requires anyone discharging dredged or fill material into Ohio waters to obtain a Section 401 water quality certification from Ohio EPA. Ohio EPA’s review is to ensure the project will comply with Ohio’s water quality standards. Ohio EPA will consider any comments received before making a decision.
The proposed discharge would result in a change from the current water quality conditions of Lake Erie. Therefore, Ohio EPA is required to consider technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the proposed project.
Press Release, May 10, 2013