Checking in on Lake Erie's $3 Billion 'Project Clean Lake'

A rainwater retention facility in Cleveland represents a small step forward with a controversial 25-year, $3 billion plan to clean Lake Erie.
October 30, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Officials on Monday unveiled the first of a series of ''green' projects that use natural landscaping, rather than underground pipes, to absorb rainwater and help reduce sewage overflows into Lake Erie," reports Andrew J. Tobias.

The so-called "Project Clean Lake" [pdf] would implement a federal consent decree requiring the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to reduce the total volume of raw sewage discharges from 4.5 billion gallons to 494 million gallons annually. The sewer district's proposed plans to meet the requirements of the consent decree have provoked opposition from stakeholders and the media who prefer a "cheaper, greener" approach.

The recently revealed project makes use of three sites in the "foreclosure-blighted" Slavic Village neighborhood by installing "a man-made basin designed to collect and absorb rain water that otherwise would flow into sewers," according to Tobias.

"Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District officials envision the projects as a component of their $3 billion effort to dig giant underground storage tunnels to keep storm runoff from flooding sewers and sending untreated sewage into Lake Erie." This component of the plan cost $338,000, but another 10 projects are already planned, with a pricetag of $82 million. 

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Published on Monday, October 27, 2014 in Cleveland.com
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