Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, along with five other members of the Ohio Delegation (Marcy Kaptur, Bob Gibbs, Tim Ryan, David P. Joyce, James Renacci) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressing support for the Port of Cleveland’s plan modification to permanently stop sediment dumping in Lake Erie.
Following the recent dispute over how dredged material should be disposed of, the Port’s proposal would bring stability to this process and improve water quality for all Ohioans.
“The dumping of dredged sediment into Lake Erie is a hazardous process that could bring significant harm to our fishing, recreation, and shipping economies, as well as our drinking water,” said Congresswoman Fudge.
“The Port of Cleveland system needs to be completely dredged every year. However, evidence has shown that dredged materials can contain dangerous legacy toxins that had been buried under rivers and lakebeds. Dumping these dredged materials directly into our lake threatens the safety of our drinking water and the ecosystems in and around Lake Erie,” said Congresswoman Kaptur.
According to Congressman Gibbs, the Cleveland Harbor Project is a unique situation given the ecological sensitivity of Lake Erie. The health of the Cuyahoga River has come a long way, but the State of Ohio’s data shows there are still improvements to be made.
“I do not believe that open-lake disposal for this project to be environmentally prudent. I urge the Corps to not consider it as an option for the Port of Cleveland,” said Congressman Gibbs.
“Dredging is an important tool to ensure commerce can easily move throughout northeast Ohio and the greater Great Lakes region. I believe we need to listen to all stakeholders involved so our economy continues to grow for all Ohioans,” said Congressman Renacci.