“State Of County” Address Focuses On Blanchard River Issues

4/11/14 – 4:53 A.M.

Yesterday’s “State of the County” address featured plenty of talk about the Blanchard River. Commissioner Phil Riegle talked about the ongoing efforts to clean the river. The Courier reports for the first time the work also calls for removing trees and vegetation from islands. Dead ash trees that could create possible logjams are also being taken out. Riegle called the effort, “the most aggressive cleanout we have done.”

Riegle also called talked about dredging the river. He said if they were to remove islands from the waterway they would face harsh consequences from the EPA. The agency has said dredging would violate the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. Riegle said that even if they could dredge, models developed by the Army Corps of Engineers show it wouldn’t do much. The models say removing four feet of material from the entire riverbed would only reduce the height of a 100-year flood by 1 inch.

Riegle is running for reelection this year. His opponent in the Republican primary is former commissioner Steve Oman, who has been a vocal supporter of dredging the river.

MORE: The Courier

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