The Ashtabula River Partnership recently hosted a party at the Ashtabula Yacht Club to celebrate the successful removal of nearly 630,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the river. The sediment contained a variety of chemicals including PCBs, heavy metals and uranium, radium and thorium. Dredging began in September 2006 and is finally over.
It cost over $60 million from the Great Lakes Legacy Act and the state of Ohio to remove 25,000 pounds of hazardous PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and other contaminants from the river bottom. It is the first cleanup project in Ohio funded by the federal Great Lakes Legacy Act, and the largest of the four Legacy Act projects funded to date. Also, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the dredging north of the Fifth Street lift bridge to Lake Erie at a cost of $15 million.
The true cost of pollution is never pretty... these millions are nothing compared to the disease and the loss of life that this mess has likely created.