Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments

Ottawa River Remediation
The Ottawa River

A Report to the Community /
Public Meeting
May 22, 2007

The Ottawa River, a Maumee Bay tributary at Toledo Ohio, is severely impacted by contaminated sediments. High concentrations of PCBs and metals in the lower river pose unacceptable risks to human and ecological health. Contaminated sediments, especially in the Ottawa River, were a primary reason for designating the Maumee River as an Area of Concern. Remediating the Ottawa River and its sediments is one of the Maumee RAP's top priorities.

Over the past fifteen years several dozen stakeholders have invested tens of millions of dollars to restore the river. TMACOG, the City of Toledo, the Maumee RAP, US EPA, Ohio EPA, and many other stakeholders are developing a sediment remediation program for the Ottawa River intended for funding through the Great Lakes Legacy Act. A number of steps are required to develop a sediment remediation project. Briefly, past work has included assessment of the river, led by Ohio EPA in its MAOC Project, and control of sources of contaminants.

Download presentations from the May 22nd 2007 meeting

Cleaning up the Ottawa River: a Recent History


Kurt Erichsen, TMACOG

Sibley Creek and Ottawa River from Lagrange to Stickney


Mary Beth G. Ross, US EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

Ottawa River below Stickney: a Depositional Zone


Limno-Tech and Hull

Great Lakes Legacy Act Program


Marc Tuchman, US EPA Great Lakes National Program Office

Status of Natural Resource Damage Assessment


Dave DeVault, US Fish & Wildlife

Ottawa River Habitat Restoration Inventory


Kurt Erichsen, TMACOG

Since 2000 TMACOG has coordinated a series of studies with a Project Management Team of stakeholders to assess the river sediment quality better, and set remediation priorities. These studies are available, below. TMACOG is requesting qualifications/proposals for the next step. The scope and RFQ-P are also available for downloading, below.

Whole Sediment Toxicity Studies for Ottawa River and other Maumee
River Area of Concern Streams
Whole Sediment Toxicity: Hyalella azteca, Ohio EPA 1995 large download

Appendices for 1995 study are available on request.

Whole Sediment Toxicity: Hyalella azteca and Lumbriculus variegatus, Ohio EPA/GLNPO 1998

Ottawa River Sediment Data (1999)
Apparent Soft-Sediment Distribution near “Unnamed Tributary,” upstream of  Stickney Ave Deposition Zone investigation Area. Hull & Associates, 1999.

Ottawa River Risk Assessments (2001)
Ottawa_River_Risk_Assessment — the entire document

This document evaluates the risks for human and ecological health due to contamination in the Ottawa River. It includes:
Synthesis Memo, Limno-Tech, Inc..
Screening-Level Human Health Risk Assessment for the Lower Ottawa River, Ohio Intertox, Inc.
Ecological Screening-Level Risk Assessment of the Lower Ottawa River, Parametrix

Ottawa River Priorities Report (2004)
This document identifies and prioritizes hotspots of contaminated sediments in the Ottawa River and recommends “Remedial Target Areas.” The report identifies five RTAs between Stickney Avenue (River Mile 4.9) and Lagrange Street (River Mile 6.5) as top priorities. These RTAs have been submitted to US EPA for potential “Legacy Act” remediation. This report was prepared by Hull & Associates and Blasland, Bouck, and Lee, Inc. (BBL).

Ottawa River Priorities Report — the main report
Ottawa River Priorities Report Tables
— all the tables
Ottawa River Priorities Report Figures
— all the figures
large download 

Ottawa River Sediment Investigation Report: Stickney Avenue Depositional Zone (2007)
In 2007 the team of Hull and Associates and Limno-Tech completed an investigation study of the Ottawa River immediately downstream of Stickney Avenue. As this river widens out and flows slow down, sediment has a tendency to settle in this area. Hence, it is referred to as the Stickney Avenue Depositional Zone, or SADZ. The area studied covers river miles 4.2 to 4.9. he project goals were to:

·         To collect bathymetric and topographic elevation data to support hydrodynamic modeling of the SADZ, for purposes of valuating bed stability.

·         To collect data on soft sediment thickness in the SADZ to support evaluation of sediment removal as a remedial alternative.

·         To collect supplemental sediment quality data to better define the nature, extent, and distribution of chemical impacts to sediments in the SADZ.

Ottawa River: Stickney Avenue Depositional Zone large download (80 MB)

For questions or more information, please contact
Kurt Erichsen, P.E.
Vice President of Environmental Planning
419-241-9155 extension 126

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