Executive Order to Further Protect Lake Erie

Governor John R. Kasich yesterday signed an executive order to require Ohio EPA to create emergency rules that will further protect Lake Erie, its aquatic life and the fishing industry, while ensuring shipping can continue in the Cuyahoga River.

The executive order provides the Ohio EPA Director the tools needed to prohibit open lake disposal of dredge material in Lake Erie if:

– The dredge material could result in higher levels of a chemical in fish that bioaccumulates throughout the food chain, such as PCBs, or

– The disposal of dredge material would violate any international treaties or compacts.

One result of the action will be to ensure that dredge material from the Cleveland Harbor is disposed of in a confined disposal facility.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ own sampling data shows that if sediment from the harbor is disposed of in Lake Erie, it would result in an increased PCB bioaccumulation in the impacted region of Lake Erie.

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