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The Congressional Budget Deal Includes Limits on Lake Erie Dredging and Dumping

photo of Sherrod Brown

 The Omnibus spending bill now in Congress includes language preventing the Army Corps of Engineers from dumping dredged material into Lake Erie.

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown acknowledges that dredging the Cuyahoga River is needed to maintain shipping lanes, and says dredging should be used only as a last resort, and even then only with permitting by the EPA. He adds that much of Lake Erie is simply too shallow for dumping to be an option.

“The rest of the Great Lakes are much deeper and more self-cleaning than Lake Erie is. So we have to be particularly careful. That’s the reason for the algae bloom work; that’s the reason for the Great Lakes Initiative.”

That initiative aims to protect the Great Lakes from a variety of ecological threats such as harmful algal blooms and Asian carp. Congress is not expected to vote on the $1.1 trillion spending bill until Friday.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.