Ohio Officials Describe Dredging Projects Coming to Lorain, Toledo, Conneaut Ports

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Posted January 10, 2019

Projects in Lorain, Toledo and Conneaut will improve Lake Erie water quality while maintaining navigation channels in the three port cities.

State officials met in Toledo Jan. 8 to discuss developing plans for three projects that will be paid for with almost $10 million approved through the Ohio State Controlling Board.

The city of Lorain will receive $4 million to plan, design, obtain permits and build a new Black River Dredge Reuse Facility that will be located on a 30-acre site within a larger reclamation facility owned by the city.

The projects will be coordinated jointly through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of the state’s “Healthy Lake Erie Fund” efforts.

Local officials will manage the project.

On Jan. 8, Lorain Storm Water Manager Kate Golden represented the city with state Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer and Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.

“The coordinated efforts to handle dredged materials differently will not only improve the water quality of Lake Erie, but also provides opportunities for the reuse of uncontaminated dredged materials into marketable products,” said Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer. “The city of Lorain thanks the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for this grant to fund the design and construction of the Black River Dredge Reuse Facility.”

The projects will help improve and protect Lake Erie water quality, and aid the navigation of vessels traveling in and out of the ports in Toledo, Lorain and Conneaut, according to a state summary of the projects.

“Dredged material removed from these Lake Erie ports will be beneficially reused to provide nutrient rich soil for use in construction and habitat restoration projects,” the state summary said. “This material will also be used to improve conditions at brownfield sites in these communities

“By placing and repurposing dredged material at these soon to be constructed sites, the waters of Lake Erie will be improved by reducing nutrient and sediment loads into Lake Erie,” according to plans.

Zehringer and Butler also offered statements about the funding and projects.

“Lake Erie is Ohio’s greatest natural resource, and ensuring its health is vital for the continued success of the communities, businesses and families that depend on it,” Zehringer said. “These projects represent a shared commitment between federal, state and local partners in helping to protect this great lake for generations.”

The projects are part of the Ohio EPA’s comprehensive strategy to manage nutrients entering Lake Erie, Butler said.

“They demonstrate how we can repurpose material dredged from Lake Erie’s harbors and use them in beneficial ways and not simply dumping this nutrient laden material into Lake Erie,” he said. “I appreciate the widespread support these projects have from local stakeholders and the U.S. Army Corps.”

Source: The Morning Journal