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Environment & Energy

Congresswoman Kaptur Wants to Cut Funding for the Army Corps

Dredging at the Port of Cleveland
PORT OF CLEVELAND
Dredging removes sediments from shipping lanes.

A northern Ohio congresswoman wants to up the stakes for the Army Corps of Engineers in a dispute involving “open-lake dumping.” That’s what the corps calls the practice of disposing sediments cleared from shipping channels in places like the port of Cleveland.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, whose 9th District includes much of the Lake Erie shore, says despite a years-long dispute with local and state officials over dumping sediments from dredging into the lake, the Army Corps of Engineers intends to keep doing it. 

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
Credit congress.gov
Marcy Kaptur, 9th Congressional District of Ohio

So she is asking her colleagues in Congress to cut off funding for dredging.  She says that may be the way to get the Corps to focus on the problems at hand.

“They change their commanding officers every two years. So what you have is a revolving door without the kind of tenure to truly understand how an ecosystem functions. And (they) tend to perpetuate whatever headquarters had done for the last century.”

Kaptur says the corps is ignoring environmental threats to the Lake including the algae blooms that she says will be aggravated by sediment dumping.  

In a written statement, Lt. Col. Karl Jansen of the Army Corps headquarters in Buffalo says testing of the sediment shows that moving it “from the river channel to an open-lake placement site would not result in lowering Lake Erie's water quality."