Written Comment to Ohio EPA: Deal with Cuyahoga Dredging Sediments Safely

My letter to the EPA; public comments are being accepted through March 13, 2014. Details on submitting comments at the bottom of this page on the Ohio Environmental Council’s website.

To Whom it Concerns:

I attended the public hearing March 6, 2014 at Cleveland Public Library pertaining to the proposal by the Army Corps of Engineers to dump sediments from dredging into the lake.

It is the responsibility of our government–the Ohio EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies–to deal with these sediments in a manner that is good for the public and the environment.

Therefore please enforce the treatment of the sediments such that the soil is decontaminated and reused on land or contained safely in Confined Disposal Facilities.

There are many reasons to do this rather than dispose of the sediments in the lake. Here are some:

  • The public has invested billions in treating water safely in the form of the creation of the North East Ohio Regional Sewer District
  • Cleveland City Council recognizes the importance of this issue and unanimously has made a resolution in opposition to dumping the sediments in the lake
  • The sediments contain toxins such as pesticides, heavy metals, pcbs, and more
  • There are concerns about public health: both in the contaminants in the sediments entering the food chain, propagating up through the benthic fish layer and ultimately humans and in the contaminants getting into our drinking water
  • There’s a concern over the proposed location of dumping – near our fresh water inlet for drinking water for area residents
  • It’s an economic concern for many reasons but immediately in that the sediments contain phosphorus, which could contribute to too much algal bloom
  • There are other cities that deal with safe sediment reuse such as Duluth
  • Sediments can be cleaned and used to extend lakefront such as in the nature preserve that was created north of Gordon Park

Definitely there is to be another public hearing as well–the public was not respected in the short amount of time to prepare for this hearing.

Thank you for your work at the EPA, and please do protect the public and ensure that sediments are dealt with safely.

Thank you!

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