Ohio EPA will hold a public meeting on a proposal to remove a Beneficial Use Impairment from the federally designated Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC).
The meeting will be held December 4, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Harbor-Topky Memorial Library.
Approximately 500,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were dredged from the lower 2.5 miles of the river from 2005-2007. In 2010 and 2012, more than 3,800 feet of in-stream habitat was restored.
However, most of the stream banks in this area remain hardened with wood and steel sheet piling to prevent erosion and provide ship docking.
While these structures impact aquatic life, they are used for boat docking at local marinas and cannot be removed. Additionally, the lower reach of the river is influenced by natural low flows and Lake Erie levels, both of which cause excessive sedimentation that affect benthic communities.
Ohio EPA and the Ashtabula AOC Advisory Council are requesting public input on the recommendation. Comments can be presented at the public meeting or submitted in writing by December 18, 2017.