- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - The decision to hold off on dredging part of the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River channel should be maintained while a state lawsuit is pending, according to a court filing from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In its recent filing, the Corps asked U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent not to grant the state of Ohio’s request that it fully dredge the channel while the lawsuit is pending, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported ( https://bit.ly/1KRJ5py).

Ohio sued the Corps in April over its plan to charge the state $1.4 million for disposing toxic sediment dredge from the channel into containment facilities and not in Lake Erie. The state said the Corps won’t dredge the entire channel unless Ohio covers the cost.

The Corps has said that federal regulations require the agency to determine the least expensive dredging option that’s technically feasible and environmentally suitable. Costlier options can be implemented if a non-federal partner contributes the difference. Corps officials have maintained that open-lake dumping is safe and economical.

The Corps’ filing this week said federal law leaves dredging decisions up to the agency because of its expertise. If Nugent orders the Corps to continue dredging while the lawsuit is pending, the Corps has asked that he force the state to put up a $1.3 million bond in case the Corps prevails in the case.

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

Nugent is expected to hold a hearing soon on the state’s request to continue dredging.

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Information from: Northeast Ohio Media Group, https://www.cleveland.com


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