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article imageLake Erie's toxic blob may be putting drinking water at risk

By Karen Graham     Oct 20, 2016 in Environment
Cleveland - In what sounds like a Halloween horror story, a toxic blob of cancer-causing chemicals in the sediment of Lake Erie might be spreading dangerously close to a water intake pipe that supplies drinking water to Cleveland.
The two-square mile blob of hazardous chemicals lying at the bottom of Lake Erie first made the news on April 30 in a letter published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Mr. James F. McCarty wrote the letter, titled "Cleveland's water supply at risk as toxic blob creeps across Lake Erie, Ohio EPA says." The letter was in reference to a contaminated area at the bottom of Lake Erie and the possible risk to Cleveland's drinking water.
The alleged contaminated area also includes a portion of a proposed placement site for sediment dredged from Cleveland Harbor, known as Cleveland Lake Area #1, 'CLA-1. The site is located about nine miles offshore in about 60 feet of water.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander, Brigadier General Richard G. Kaiser, PMP, responded in a letter that said there is no credible evidence to support the idea of a "toxic blob" migrating towards Cleveland's water intakes.
He did acknowledge that dredged and untreated sludge from the polluted Cuyahoga River shipping channel was dumped at the site in the 1970s before the Clean Water Act went into effect in 1972.
On Wednesday it was learned that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is preparing a report that will be released this fall, based on new tests. It is expected to show where the toxic blob of sediment is supposedly moving and if it will put Cleveland's water supply at risk.
Kurt Princic, the Ohio EPA official in charge of the Cleveland area, was quoted as saying that while there is no evidence of toxic chemicals entering the city's Nottingham Water Treatment Plant, "we are still concerned."
Princic and Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler think the federal government should step in and provide assistance along with more advanced testing of the sediment, reports EcoWatch. The U.S. EPA was petitioned for assistance but apparently, the EPA has not yet decided if it will help.
"We need the U.S. EPA's help to develop an analysis and a strategy to determine if it is migrating and whether it is a threat to drinking water," Princic added. But let's wait for the Ohio EPA's report.
More about Lake erie, toxic blob, Army Corps of Engineers, Cleveland ohio, Water supply
 
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