Speak Out Against Toxic Dumping in Lake Erie

Broad public opposition is crucial, please attend and testify or submit comments! 

Date:  Thursday, March 6

Time:  4:30 to 6:00 pm

Place: Cleveland Public Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Branch, 1962 Stokes Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106

At Stake:

From the mouth of Ohio EPA:

  • “Unacceptable impacts to the aquatic ecosystem and to human and wildlife health,” and “Would exacerbate existing impairment to the Lake Erie region’s commercial and recreational fisheries and tourism industries.
  • “Several concerns … regarding the potential impacts on the Cleveland Drinking Water System."
  • Sediment disposal would “substantially increase fish tissue PCB contamination."
  • Several classes of contaminants in the Cleveland Harbor sediments are “above thresholds of concern and are likely to cause toxicity to aquatic organisms and increase already existing risks to human, avian, and wildlife consumers of fish.”

Background:

For the first time in two decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking approval to dump toxic sediments in Cleveland Harbor.

The Corps plans to dredge the Cuyahoga River and dispose of the sediments in Lake Erie, not far from City of Cleveland drinking water intakes.  The Corps falsely claims the sediments are clean; in truth, the sediments contain substantial levels of toxics like PCBs and PAHs. 

The Corps needs OEPA approval to proceed with the project.  OEPA has stated its strong opposition to the plan. However, we have seen OEPA oppose USACE open dumping projects before, only to roll over at the last minute.

Public attendance and participation will be key to putting pressure on the agencies.

Tell Ohio EPA that open-lake disposal of Cuyahoga River sediments is an unacceptable threat to human health and the environment.  The Corps should instead dispose of sediments in Confined Disposal Facilities (CDFs), a practice it has followed in Cleveland for decades.  In 2012, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority determined that, by mechanically unloading the sediment, the Corps could extend the capacity of Cleveland’s CDFs by 20 years.

Written comments may also be submitted to OEPA through COB March 13. 

Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, attn: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 or email to dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov.

For more information