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Published: Monday, 1/21/2013

Comments sought on dredge plan


The Army Corps of Engineers’ annual dredging program for Toledo Harbor will be the subject of an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency meeting Thursday at One Government Center.

The corps’ Buffalo District is seeking a water-quality certification from the state agency to allow it to remove about 1.5 million cubic yards of silt from 9 miles of the navigation channel in Maumee Bay and the lower mile of the Maumee River and dump that silt in a Lake Erie disposal site about 3.5 miles from Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

The corps proposes, as a “minimal degradation alternative,” reducing the dredging to 1.1 million cubic yards, but still disposing of it in the open lake. Reducing the program would cut to 6 miles the length of the channel to be dredged.

Dredging would not start before July 1, and would not occur during storms.

The Corps of Engineers’ permit application states that dredging operations would cause only “a short-term, negligible lowering of ambient water quality, less than that which occurs during Lake Erie storm events,” and that sediment to be removed from the channel is similar in composition to the surrounding lake bottom.

In addition to receiving comments during the 6:30 p.m. meeting in Toledo City Council Chambers, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will accept written comments on the proposal through Jan. 31 by contacting the agency by email at dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov or regular mail at Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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