U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with Congressman Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy urging her to push for a swift solution that will allow dredging of Northeast Ohio’s waterways to begin next month.
Following statements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, that dredging would be deferred if the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) denied the permits necessary for open lake disposal of the dredged sediment, the bipartisan group of lawmakers urged Secretary Darcy to find a timely solution for sediment disposal in Cleveland that will be accepted by the community.
“The maintenance of the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland Harbor, and Lake Erie is critical to Northeast Ohio’s economic well-being as the region relies upon the movement of goods across the Great Lakes navigation system,” Portman, Brown, and Joyce said in the letter. “All efforts must be made to ensure timely dredging of the river. Delays would needlessly harm the industries, businesses and thousands of Ohio jobs which rely on a navigable river.”
USACE recently submitted a dredging request for the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor, and OEPA issued a certification for dredging of the Cleveland Harbor and the Cuyahoga River that provides ample environmental and health protections for Lake Erie and the City of Cleveland.
The Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill provided $7.4 million for dredging, disposal, and maintenance of the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River.
Press Release, April 20, 2014