Blog  /  June 2016  /  Dredged Sediment: The Gold Rush of the Water Industry

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I recently attended a conference held by the Ohio EPA which focused on how to best use dredged sediment from the federal navigational channels on the coast of Lake Erie. Current practices include transporting the sediment to Confined Disposal Facilities or dumped back into Lake Erie [open lake dumping].  Due to some serious legacy issues with heavy metals and harmful chemicals, the State of Ohio passed Senate Bill 1 which will prevent the United States Army Corps of Engineers from open lake dumping effective July 1st, 2020.

 

The conference brought together concerned citizens, key industry organizations, and public entities, for a full day of workshops and presentation to ultimately brainstorm beneficial reuse programs for the 1.5million cubic yards of sediment dredged annually. Conversations were focused on discovering new business opportunities, and growth for existing industries including agriculture, construction/engineering, products, and environmental enhancement. At the end of the conference it was clear that there is an endless amount of opportunities for the material, and industrial stakeholders should begin looking for new, innovative practices.