Port Authority Announces Dredging Solution

Cargo ships in Port of Cleveland (pic: Brian Bull)
Cargo ships in Port of Cleveland (pic: Brian Bull)
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The Army Corps of Engineers dredges 200,000 cubic yards a year from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River. It stores that muck in a disposal facility near the Burke Lakefront Airport. But with that facility nearing capacity, the Army Corps this spring proposed to put the dredged sediment into Lake Erie….a proposal that did NOT sit well with the Ohio EPA.

Officials there said untreated dredge material could elevate PCB levels in Lake Erie’s fish population.

At the same time, building a new disposal facility could cost up to $150 million.

Now the Port Authority says it’s initiating a 3-part plan that would change how it collects, treats, and uses sediment.

One part includes special technology.

The Ohio EPA approved a grant worth over a million dollars towards buying a “bedload interceptor”, which gathers silt before it gets polluted in the more industrial parts of the Cuyahoga.

Collected silt could be sold as fill dirt, making money for the Port Authority and reducing the amount typically used in the storage facility.

Port officials say this and other aspects of the plan will extend the disposal facility’s life by a half century.

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