Ohio, Army Corps Reach Settlement in Dredging Suit

Feb 22, 2018

A ship travels the Cuyahoga River.
Credit ELIZABETH MILLER / ideastream

Ohio and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have settled a lawsuit over dredging in the Cuyahoga River. 

The state and the federal agency have fought for years over how to handle sediment scooped from the river. The Army Corps wanted to dump it out into Lake Erie, but the state said that was unsafe.

Under the settlement, the Army Corps will bear the cost of disposing of sediment dredged in 2016 and 2017. That material was placed in confined disposal facilities, not in the lake.

The settlement was filed Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland.

Last year, a federal judge ruled against the Army Corps in a related case, saying it “unreasonably delayed” dredging the Cuyahoga in 2015.

The Army Corps declined to comment on this case; it’s still considered ongoing because a judge hasn’t signed the settlement order. But the agency says last year was an encouraging one for the relationship between the Army Corps Buffalo District and the Ohio EPA.  The two groups meet regularly and are working to find long-term solutions for the thousands of yards of dredged sediment.

A contract is already in place for dredging to begin in May.

Great Lakes Today is a collaboration of WBFO Buffalo, ideastream Cleveland, and WXXI Rochester.