Lakewood Asks For Variance on Mercury Discharge into Lake Erie
Ohio EPA to host meeting June 1 to discuss the issue. City officials hope to keep the standard at its current level.
The Ohio EPA is hosting an open meeting June 1 to discuss Lakewood’s request for a variance on the city’s permit to discharge small amounts of mercury into Lake Erie.
The regulatory agency is reviewing an application from the city to modify its permit for the discharge of mercury from the city’s wastewater treatment plant located at 1699 Metropark Drive.
The city currently releases mercury into Lake Erie at the microscopic level of 11.53 parts per trillion.
But the rules have changed since the last permit was issued in 2008. New standards require the city to keep mercury levels below 1.3 parts per trillion.
Richard Krumreig, the unit manager at the wastewater facility, said it would require extremely costly technology to meet the new standards, resulting in a substantial economic impact to the city.
“The limit the EPA wants us to meet is probably less mercury than someone with older fillings has in their mouth,” Krumreig said. “No one wants mercury in the water, but it is a very, very small number.”
He said the city is working on a mapping system to identify the sources of the small amounts of mercury — but he suspects they are medical and dental facilities.
The information session and public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. June 1 at the Lakewood City Hall Auditorium, 12650 Detroit Ave.
Comments on the requested modification may be presented at the hearing or submitted in writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.
The public comment period ends June 8.
Following consideration of public comments, Ohio EPA will make a decision on the application.