Ohio's Senators Work To End Dumping Of Dredged Sediment Into Lake Erie
By ideastream's Brian Bull
Ohio’s two senators have worked language into the latest Omnibus funding bill to prevent open lake dumping of dredged sediments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown both say that unless dredged material is deemed safe by the Ohio EPA, then it’s to stay out of Lake Erie.
David Romano is Deputy District Engineer for Planning, Programs, and Project Management in the Buffalo District. He says they have yet review the language, and that the Corps remains committed to addressing the issue of storing dredged river sediment.
Material that isn’t dumped in Lake Erie is put into nearby Containment Disposal Facilities. Romano says expanding their capacity would be an expensive option.
“Building them in the Cleveland area and across the Great Lakes, they can range from 200 million dollars or more in some instances," says Romano. "So it’s very important that we continue to work with agencies and those Lake Erie stakeholders, to identify the most beneficial use of dredged material while maintaining that pristine ecological resource.”
Romano says he’s familiar with new technology that stops sediment miles before industrialized parts of the Cuyahoga River. He wouldn’t say if that’s going to be Corps practice next year when dredging operations are expected to resume.
The State of Ohio filed suit against the Corps last spring, over its dredging plan which included putting some of the costs back on the state. A federal judge is still reviewing the case.