Ohio asks judge to force Corps to dredge shipping channel

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio officials are again asking a federal judge to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River shipping channel.

The state attorney general filed the latest request in a lawsuit Monday after a federal judge in Cleveland ruled against Ohio in a 2015 lawsuit on technical grounds.

The judge said this month that he wouldn’t yet force the Corps to dredge the harbor and shipping channel this year, ruling that the state’s request for dredging in 2016 couldn’t be brought within the lawsuit filed last year because the request involved claims not previously made, Cleveland.com (http://bit.ly/2cH3zZ7 ) reported.

The Corps wants to dump river sediment it contends isn’t toxic into Lake Erie. The state Environmental Protection Agency says dumping the sediment would harm the lake’s ecosystem, and the state is arguing with the Corps over the costs to dump the sediment into containment facilities rather than the lake.

The state sued last year over the federal agency’s plan to charge Ohio $1.4 million for disposing sediment from the channel into the containment facilities. A federal judge later ruled that the dredging must continue.

The Corps said it shouldn’t have to foot the bill for dumping sediment into a disposal facility, which would be much higher than dumping the dredged materials into the lake.

The new lawsuit’s demands are similar but also says the Corps was wrong to cut the budget for the dredging project.

Corps spokesman Andrew Kornacki said Wednesday that the agency can’t comment on pending or ongoing lawsuits.


Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com

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