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When TMDLs and Human History Collide

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Abstract:

The City of Kent, Ohio recently experienced a unique interaction between the Clean Water Act of 1972 and National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 which crossed paths to create a complex resolution to improve water quality in the middle Cuyahoga River. A 1999 TMDL 303(d) listing clearly documented the unfavorable impacts that area dams were having on river water quality and highly recommended that the dams be removed and/or modified. However, the circa 1836 Kent Dam (located in downtown Kent, Ohio) was a highly engineered historic structure that had managed to survive for the past 165 years. During the investigative process, it was learned that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act mandated that any proposed modification to a historic structure as the result of a federal action must go through a formal process to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects to the historic structure. This led the City administration down a path of highly controversial meetings and negotiations between local citizens, environmentalists, historians and regulatory agencies. Knowing that there was strong local contingency of both environmentalists and historians, it was the City's goal to avoid serious community division while revealing critical areas of consensus in order to move the project towards completion.

Keywords: (CRRP); CITY OF KENT; CLEAN WATER ACT; CUYAHOGA RIVER RESTORATION PROJECT; HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT (NHPA); KENT DAM; LETTER OF AGREEMENT (LOA); MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT (MOA); NATIONAL; SECTION 106; TMDL (TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864707786619341

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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