Dredging will always be a serious concern in the Great Lakes
As an important transport route for tons of cargo goods annually, the Cuyahoga river serves as a critical channel economically in the Cleveland area. However, as sources of sediment are pushed down the river by the current, stretches of the Cuyahoga become a difficult, tight-fitting journey for the cargo ships passing through. The US Army Corps of Engineers, an organization whose mission in part seeks to “deliver vital public and military engineering services,” has recently begun focusing efforts on finding a more efficient method of relocating the 225,000 cubic yards of sediment that requires dredging.
By Brent M. Durken
However, environmental groups and area locals maintain a high level of criticism for the proposed process. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) in particular has cited that levels of toxic chemicals and pesticides in the untreated sediment, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), are still at an unacceptable level for dumping in the lake, a location with high tourist activity and a major water source for the area. As of April 2014, the OEPA has set clear guidelines regarding the rules for river dredging entering Lake Erie and currently refuses to allow completion of the dumping process.