Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ohio sues U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over Cleveland Harbor dredging project

Aerial view of the port of Cleveland.
Aerial view of the port of Cleveland.
Ohio announced on Tuesday, through several governmental departments, that it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its plan to dump materials dredged from the Cleveland Harbor into Lake Erie and not to dredge the entire navigation channel.

While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dredged the harbor since 1970 -- which includes a six-mile stretch of the Cuyahoga River -- and disposed of the dredged material in on-land areas designated for that purpose -- it has been proposing the cheaper option of disposing those materials in Lake Erie for the past two years.

“The Corps’ decision attempts to force the state to use its resources to pay for costs the federal government should cover, to accept the severe economic distress to Cleveland and all of Ohio if the Corps refuses to dredge this area, or allow the Corps to endanger Lake Erie further by dumping these toxins,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “We filed this lawsuit because this decision by the Corps is wrong for the health of Lake Erie, wrong for the economy of Cleveland and wrong for the taxpayers of Ohio.”

The lawsuit -- driven by the fear of increased levels of carcinogenic toxins (PCBs), which persist in fat tissue and work their way up food chains -- was announced by DeWine, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig W. Butler and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 441 G St NW Washington, DC - 20314

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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