Portman Presses Army Corps for Answers on Protecting Lake Erie and Flood Control Analyses “We’ve made good progress in our efforts to protect Lake Erie over the past several years, but there is much more work to be done.
PoliticalNews.me - Mar 18,2017 - Portman Presses Army Corps for Answers on Protecting Lake Erie and Flood Control Analyses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who serves as co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, issued the following statement after meeting with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel Adam Czekanski, who heads the Corps’ Buffalo District, which includes northern Ohio:
“We’ve made good progress in our efforts to protect Lake Erie over the past several years, but there is much more work to be done. A key component of that effort is to ensure that the Army Corps of Engineers dredges the Port of Cleveland and disposes of the dredged material in a responsible way. I told Lieutenant Colonel Czekanski that while I’m pleased they began the dredging last fall they must continue to ensure that the harbor is dredged as necessary for safe and efficient ship passage.
“I also made clear that the Corps’ must continue to cooperate with the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding the current investigation, including a review of the Corps’ responses to my requests for documents and information. Our investigation into reports that the Corps cut its own budget as an excuse to dump contaminated sediment from the Port of Cleveland into Lake Erie is ongoing, and we will continue to review the Corps’ actions in this matter.”
Additionally, Senator Portman has worked with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) to push the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a flood risk management plan to prevent flooding from the Blanchard River. However, because the Corps was unable to complete the study in a timely manner, the city and county decided to transition to a non-federal project. A review of the Corps’ preliminary study revealed discrepancies in the Corps’ data and analyses. Senator Portman had this to say following the meeting:
“I also asked the Corps to explain the discrepancies found in its analyses of a flood risk management plan for the Blanchard River in Findlay, Ohio. Flooding of the Blanchard River has caused tens of millions of dollars in damages in the past. We must ensure that a flood management plan prevents these losses in the future. I asked the Corps to work with the city and county on any Corps permits that will be necessary to implement a flood risk management plan.”
NOTE: For more on Senator Portman’s efforts to protect Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, see this recap here. As Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), Portman is investigating reports that the Corps cut its own budget as an excuse to dump contaminated sediment from the Port of Cleveland into Lake Erie. As he wrote in a Cleveland Plain Dealer op-ed in February, he will continue to make this a priority in the Senate.