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Great Lakes AOCs

Ashtabula River Legacy Act Cleanup

In 2013, a Great Lakes Legacy Act project was completed that dredged almost 11,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the Ashtabula River North Slip.  This project removed polychlorinated biphenyls and diesel-range organic contamination so that the long term restoration goals for the AOC would be achieved. To ensure long term protectiveness of the cleanup, an additional layer of sand was placed following dredging. The Ohio EPA served as the nonfederal sponsor of this project. This project addressed the last remaining area of contaminated sediment in the AOC.

In 2006 and 2007, work was completed on the Ashtabula River which removed 25,000 pounds of hazardous PCBs and other contaminants from the Ashtabula river bottom. It was the first cleanup project in Ohio funded by the federal Great Lakes Legacy Act, and the largest of the four Legacy Act projects funded to date.

Workers have removed about 497,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and provided new habitat in the river. Because the sediment can flow into Lake Erie, removing it is good for the lake and the entire Great Lakes basin. A secondary benefit is a much deeper Ashtabula River, allowing for the return of normal commercial navigation and recreational boating in the river and harbor.

Half of the funding for this $50 million project was from the Legacy Act and the other half from the Ashtabula City Port Authority in cooperation with other public and private entities, including the Ashtabula River Cooperation Group II, a group of private companies. The state of Ohio provided $7 million for the project. Other organizations, including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, played important roles.

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