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Federal agency won't dump sediment from northeast Ohio river in Lake Erie this year


CLEVELAND — Sediment from the floor of the Cuyahoga River won't be dumped into Lake Erie, the federal agency that maintains the lake's shipping channels said.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discussed the agency's 2015 dredging plan at a Tuesday hearing in Cleveland, The Plain Dealer reported ( ).

Some of the sediment from the river bottom will be placed in confined disposal facilities, said Lt. Col. Karl Jansen, commander of the Buffalo District of the Army Corps of Engineers. The agency will also hold off on dredging about 45,000 cubic yards of the river to save money.

The announcement comes after Gov. John Kasich last week issued an executive order allowing the state to set new dredging rules.

Despite the agency's 2015 dredging plan, Jansen maintained at the hearing that open-lake dumping is safe and economical.

Ohio regulators have voiced concerns over how the sediment is affecting water quality and contaminating Lake Erie's walleye and yellow perch.

The Ohio EPA last year disputed a statement released by the Army Corps that said the agency's scientists had confirmed that putting sediment in the lake wouldn't lead to significant adverse environmental impacts.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Chief Executive Officer, Julius Ciaccia Jr., criticized the agency's stance at the hearing Tuesday.

"The Army Corps notion that dumping Cuyahoga River dredge sediment into the open waters of Lake Erie is safe depends on who is doing the science," he said.

Information from: The Plain Dealer,

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