The Army Corps of Engineers says it will dredge the Cleveland Harbor after all -- and as ideastream’s Nick Castele reports, the corps won’t dispose of the sediment in the middle of Lake Erie, as it had hoped to do.
The Corps says it will dredge the entrance to the Cuyahoga River and deposit 225,000 cubic yards of sediment in what’s known as a confined disposal facility. It’s essentially a basin along the lakeshore that the Corps has been filling with river mud for years now.
The corps had wanted to deposit the sediment in Lake Erie, saying the dredged material is no longer a pollution threat, and it would be cheaper to do it this way.
But earlier this month, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency denied that request. The EPA said the sediment still might pose a risk to Lake Erie fish.
While the Corps’ decision ends this year’s standoff with the EPA, next year might be a different story. In a press release, the Corps warns the lakeshore storage basin is nearly full, and continuing to pack it with sediment could prove too expensive in 2015. It’s the same argument that other agencies found unpersuasive this year.