Ashtabula River Removed from EPA List | News, Sports, Jobs
ASHTABULA – The Ashtabula River has been removed from the binational list of the most environmentally degraded areas in the Great Lakes after decades of work.
In the 1980s, the United States and Canada identified 43 “Areas of concern” on the Great Lakes affected by historical contamination dating back several decades. The Ashtabula River is the sixth AOC to be delisted in the United States and the first of four in Ohio.
The US Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement.
“We can build back better by continuing to invest in areas along the Great Lakes that need restoration,” EPA deputy administrator Janet McCabe said. “The Ashtabula River is a great example of partnership and can serve as a model for other areas around the Great Lakes that still need support to help clean up the legacy contamination. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to restoring the Great Lakes and preserving this incredible resource for future generations. “
“Today is a momentous opportunity for the residents of Ashtabula, for the people of Ohio who love Lake Erie, and for the larger Great Lakes region,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who was instrumental in the process of cleaning up the Ashtabula River while serving in the United States Senate. “Removing the river from this list is further proof that public-private partnerships, hard work and long-term determination are the investments needed to improve Ohio’s waters and ensure they can be enjoyed today. ‘hui and for future generations. “
Between 2006 and 2013, the US EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio EPA, City of Ashtabula, and industry partners conducted several projects to remove contaminated sediment from the bottom of the Ashtabula River and to restore habitat. A cleaner river bottom helps make fish healthier, and a restored shoreline improves habitat for fish and wildlife.
The dredging created a deeper navigation channel, allowing more pleasure and commercial boats to access the river. In total, over 620,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment containing 14,000 pounds of PCBs were removed from the river and over 2,500 linear feet of fish habitat was created. An innovative public-private partnership has invested nearly $ 70 million in sediment remediation and habitat restoration projects.
• 2006 and 2007: US EPA, Ohio EPA, Ashtabula City Port Authority and a consortium of industrial partners dredged 497,000 cubic meters of contaminated sediment from the Ashtabula River containing 14,000 pounds of PCB as well as material low level radioactive, heavy metals and other pollutants. Federal and non-federal partners equally shared the cost of the $ 57.6 million Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) project.
• 2009 and 2010: The same partners created 800 linear feet of fish racks in the water to improve fish habitat on the 5-1 / 2 Slip Peninsula. This GLLA work cost $ 900,000 and was also split evenly between federal and non-federal partners.
• 2011 and 2012: Using $ 1.5 million of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding provided by the US EPA, the Ohio EPA expanded habitat restoration work to Peninsula 5- Slip 1/2 by creating an additional 1,740 linear feet of fish from the shelves.
• 2012 and 2013: The US Army Corps of Engineers dredged 114,000 cubic meters of contaminated sediment from the federal shipping channel of the Ashtabula River with $ 6 million in funding from the GLRI.
• 2013: The US EPA and the Ohio EPA dredged 12,000 cubic meters of contaminated sediment from the Jack’s Marine North Slip as part of a 2013 GLLA project using $ 900,000 in GLRI and $ 600,000 in non-federal funding.
In addition to removing sediment and restoring habitat in the Ashtabula River, the EPA also looked at the inherited contamination from the Fields Brook Superfund site. Work has been done to treat contaminated soils and sediments in many watersheds and tributaries that could potentially drain into the river.
“Today is an exciting day for the Ashtabula community”, Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said. “The delisting from the Ashtabula River AOC shows us what happens when we work together to tackle the legacy of pollution that is damaging too many Ohio rivers. I will continue to work with local, state and federal leaders to ensure that we continue our work of restoring and protecting Lake Erie and its tributaries for generations to come.
“I am delighted that after decades of work the Ashtabula River is no longer listed as an area of concern. This is a prime example of how federal funding for the GLRI has helped clean up the river, restore wildlife habitat, and reduce contamination. Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill that was recently passed by the Senate provides $ 1 billion in new funding for the GLRI to fund other important projects like this one in Ohio and across the region. Great Lakes region.
“Growing up on the shores of Lake Erie, I know how hard our local communities have worked with state and federal partners to make the Ashtabula River the first area of concern to be delisted in Buckeye State” , said Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Bainbridge, the senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. “This is a significant achievement, of which the Ashtabula community should be proud. The Great Lakes and its tributaries are among our country’s greatest natural resources. I am proud to stand up for programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that help protect these waters for the millions of Americans who depend on them and who will continue to work across the aisle to preserve them. so that future generations can benefit.