COLUMBIANA COUNTY Meeting to focus on halting flooding

LEETONIA -- Columbiana County Commissioner Dave Cranmer was to meet today with state officials to discuss alleviating flooding in the Franklin Square area of Salem Township.
Representatives of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are expected to advise the county whether a special permit will be necessary to clear streams causing the flooding and whether one of the waterways is contaminated, Cranmer explained Tuesday.
The flooding of area fields and a section of Lisbon Road is caused by beaver dams and by debris and sediment piling up in Little Beaver Creek and adjacent feeder streams.
Some landowners in the area have asked the county to stop the flooding, which damages crops and turns some fields into marshes.
County officials must proceed carefully, however, because federal and state regulations govern the type of work that can be performed on streams, Cranmer said.
Some types of stream-clearing work require a permit.
It's possible the county could remove brush that's choking the streams without first having to get a permit, Cranmer said.
But any effort to clear sediment may require a permit from the state or federal government, he added.
He said he hopes the EPA can provide more information on what permits are needed and from which agencies.
Potential contaminant
Another problem is the possible presence of Mirex, a carcinogen, in sections of the Little Beaver Creek where sediment may need to be removed.
After inspecting the affected part of the stream, Ohio EPA officials may be able to determine if it is contaminated, Cranmer said.
Mirex entered parts of the Little Beaver decades ago from a chemical plant that formerly operated north of Salem.
If Mirex is in the creek bed, sediment removal could disturb it, and some of the substance could drift further downstream, Cranmer said.
Should the county have Mirex-contaminated soil taken out, it probably would have to be disposed of in a special manner, which also could prove more costly.
County officials are uncertain where they'll get money for clearing the creek, Cranmer said.
He added that he hopes to discuss funding with Ohio EPA officials. There may be state or federal dollars available, he said.

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