The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will commence the Cleveland Harbor dredging program next month to facilitate the 2014 shipping season.
“Dredging the harbor is an absolute must for Northern Ohio manufacturing and the thousands of jobs it supports,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur. “I am relieved that Cleveland will stay open for business this shipping season, but we have to focus on a longer-term solution.”
The Corps of Engineers previously had threatened to stop dredging Cleveland harbor unless it received a permit to dump the material directly into Lake Erie, despite opposition from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. This announcement means the Corps will follow existing protocol to dredge the harbor and dispose of the sediment in the confined disposal facility (CDF).
Congresswoman Kaptur said she discussed the Cleveland situation extensively this morning with Major General John Peabody, a northern Ohio native who serves as deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, and thanked him for the decision to begin dredging not only in Cleveland but also Toledo.
Kaptur also urged Gen. Peabody to adopt a policy of “beneficial reuse” of the dredged material whenever possible and she encouraged the Corps of collaborate with all stakeholders, including the Port of Cleveland and the Western Lake Erie Basin Partnership, to develop filtering mechanisms to reduce sediment flow into a fragile Lake Erie, which has been subject to severe algal blooms hastened by lake turbidity.
Press Release, April 24, 2014