Ashtabula River removed from list of environmentally degraded areas in the Great Lakes region –

The Ashtabula River has been delisted from a bi-national list of "Areas of Concern."
ASHTABULA, Ohio – After years of clean-up efforts, the Ashtabula River is no longer considered one of the “most environmentally degraded” areas in the Great Lakes Region.
The EPA announced Thursday that the river has been removed from a bi-national list of “Areas of Concern” established by the United States and Canada in the 1980s.
The EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Ohio EPA, the Ashtabula City Port Authority and others conducted a variety cleanup measures between 2006 and 2013 that included the removal of contaminated sediment from the bottom of the river and the installation of 2,500 feet of fish habitat.
In 2006 and 2007 alone, the EPA along with the Ashtabula City Port Authority and others dredged 497,000 cubic yards of sediment containing 14,000 pounds of PCBs and other contaminants from the river, according to the EPA.
The work also included remediation of the Fields Brook Superfund site which is located in the watershed of the Ashtabula River. Metals and chemicals were once produced at the site.
“Today is a momentous occasion for the residents of Ashtabula, for Ohioans who enjoy Lake Erie, and for the larger Great Lakes region,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated in an EPA news release.
The EPA release says that DeWine “played an instrumental role in the Ashtabula River clean-up process while serving in the U.S. Senate.”
In October of last year, the EPA heralded the substantial improvements made to the Ashtabula River and announced that the de-listing process had begun.
The Ashtabula River was one of 43 sites on the Great Lakes tagged by the United States and Canada as “Areas of Concern” because of their environmental degradation.
The river is the sixth of the U.S. sites to be delisted and the first in Ohio. The Cuyahoga River, the Black River in Lorain County and the Maumee River in Toledo remain on the list.
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