Home > Media > News Releases

Posted 5/3/2016

Bookmark and Share Email Print

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article written by Mr. James F. McCarty titled “Cleveland’s water supply at risk as toxic blob creeps across Lake Erie, Ohio EPA says.”  The US Army Corps of Engineers is fully committed to working with the Ohio EPA and other State and Federal agencies to ensure that headline never becomes a reality.

The article references a letter that Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler sent to me on April 26, 2016 that outlines concerns about a contaminated area of the Lake Erie lake bed and the associated risk to Cleveland’s drinking water. The alleged contaminated area includes a portion of the proposed placement site for sediment dredged from Cleveland Harbor, known as Cleveland Lake Area #1, “CLA-1.” 

No credible scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that a “toxic blob” is migrating towards Cleveland’s water intakes. CLA-1 is an area two-square miles in size, and is located nine miles from the shoreline, in about 60 feet of water and is miles downstream of, and in much deeper water than, Cleveland’s water intakes. Based on our thorough evaluation of sediment data and the location and characteristics of CLA-1, we firmly believe that the lake bottom sediment in this area is not migrating nor does it pose a risk to Cleveland's drinking water now, or in the future; it is important to know that there is no credible scientific evidence concluding that it has ever posed a danger to Cleveland’s drinking water. 

Lake Erie at one time was utilized for many types of industrial disposal practices that would not be acceptable today under the Clean Water Act. While the Corps of Engineers will not characterize and address contaminants of unknown sources in the entire lake bottom, it will support as appropriate any efforts by Ohio, as the owner of the lake bottom, to investigate the source of the contaminants and build a science-based understanding of their impacts.

Letter to Ohio EPA

Brigadier General Richard G. Kaiser, PMP

/s/Richard G Kaiser


Great Lakes and Ohio River Division

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers