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Restoration and cleanup of Ashtabula River complete

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The Ashtabula River has been delisted from the ‘areas of concern’ list.

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Editor’s note: Video at the top of this story was originally published in an unrelated article on July 23, 2021.

It’s being celebrated as an “historic milestone.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is making an appearance in Ashtabula on Thursday morning “to celebrate the cleanup and restoration of the Ashtabula River.”

Gov. DeWine will be joined by U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe for a press conference at 10:30 a.m. at the Ashtabula Yacht Club. We plan to stream live video from that event inside this story.

“Since 2006, successful river cleanup and restoration efforts have dramatically improved habitat for fish, reduced levels of contaminants in sediment and restored habitat in the area known as the 5-1/2 Slip,” according to a press release from the EPA earlier this year. “Now that environmental issues have been addressed, the agencies anticipate that the Ashtabula community will continue to see accompanying economic and social benefits.”

As a result, the Ashtabula River has been delisted from the “areas of concern” list.

“The Ashtabula River was formally designated as an area of concern (AOC) under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the U.S. and Canada,” according to the EPA’s final delisting report, which was published in July. “This designation as an AOC was primarily due to contaminated sediment and a lack of fish and wildlife habitat.”

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