It's on us. Share your news here.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Replaces Commander of Buffalo District; Move Unrelated to Ongoing Conflict with Ohio EPA, Spokesman Says

Lt. Col. Karl Jansen

Posted on June 7, 2016

By James F. McCarty, Cleveland Connects

The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Buffalo District – which oversees shipping on Lake Erie and at the Port of Cleveland – has been reassigned, and replaced by Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski of the Army Corps’ San Francisco District.

An Army Corps spokesman said the reassignment of Lt. Col. Karl Jansen was routine and unrelated to a federal lawsuit and ongoing dispute over the past two years between the Corps and the Ohio EPA and Port of Cleveland.

“The change of command happens every two years at about this time,” said Andrew Kornacki, public affairs chief at the Buffalo District. “It is a part of the normal Army process to change officer every two years,” and a time-honored Army tradition that dates back to before the Civil War.

Jansen will be transferred to the Army Corps’ headquarters in Washington, D.C. The formal change of command ceremony will take place July 7 aboard the USS Little Rock located at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park in Buffalo.

Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Nugent issued an injunction accusing the Army Corps of “unlawful, arbitrary and/or capricious” violations of common sense and federal law. He ordered the Corps to dredge the entire Cuyahoga River shipping channel, and to dispose of the dredged sediment in a confined disposal facility – not nine miles offshore into Lake Erie.

In his opinion, Nugent cited the “irreparable harm” the Army Corps could cause to the health of Lake Erie by dumping PCBs and other carcinogenic toxins into the open lake. Those same issues are expected to return to Nugent’s federal courtroom this year if the Army Corps insists on open-lake disposal of dredged sediment, or if the Corps demands that Ohio or the Port of Cleveland pay for the disposal of the sediment in a lakefront containment dike.

In his farewell address, Jansen said it has been a privilege to serve as the 72nd commander of the Buffalo District, and commended the people of the district for their extraordinary contributions to public service.

“Since 1857, Buffalo District has proudly served the people and the watersheds of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence Seaway,” Jansen said a prepared release. “Reliable for their character, competence, and positive ‘can-do’ attitude, our people make things better for our fellow citizens by enabling economic prosperity, assuring national security, and protecting our vital natural resources – a true noble purpose.”


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe