Ecological Services: Environmental Contaminants
Midwest Region


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Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Ashtabula River Area of Concern Remedy Effectiveness Activities 2011

Columbus Ohio Field Office Report


Water sampling equipment

Water sampling devices used to monitor the Ashtabula River.

Photos by USFWS

Person holding a water sampling device.

The Ashtabula River was designated by the International Joint Commission as a Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC) due to contamination from polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  To assess the effectiveness of dredging and removal of ~550,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, Environmental Contaminants (EC) biologists at Ohio Ecological Services Office are coordinating with federal, state, and local partners.  Along with personnel from Ohio DNR, Ohio EPA and USEPA, EC biologists collected fish samples in April 2011 from the Ashtabula River and a reference site (Conneaut Creek) that will be used to evaluate fish advisories, community assemblages, and fish health. 


High volume water samples were also taken in the Ashtabula River in June 2011 by EC biologists from the Ohio Ecological Services Office. Results from water column samples taken from the Ashtabula River by EC biologists in 2001 show both PCB and hexachlorabenzene (HCB) concentrations exceeded water quality criterion established by the State of Ohio for the protection of human health, with PCB concentrations also exceeding the State of Ohio criteria for protection of wildlife and exceeding the Great Lakes Water Quality Objective.  The 2011 samples will then be compared to 2001 samples to evaluate remedy effectiveness.



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Last updated: April 2, 2018