The City of Toledo and Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) today joined together to recognize seven local businesses in the Ottawa River watershed for their proactive and voluntary efforts to protect the waterway.
The city and its state and local partners have spent many years, and a great deal of money, cleaning contaminated sediment from the Ottawa River. The sediment removal work concluded in 2011, but the effort to keep the river clean and protected from contaminants is ongoing. One possible source of pollution identified has been salvage yards due to the type of materials handled and their proximity to the river.
The City of Toledo Division of Environmental Services partnered with TMACOG and Tetra Tech to establish storm water management practices at salvage yards and automotive recycling facilities through the Toledo Salvage & Stewardship program. Twelve businesses along the Ottawa River were approached to participate in the program. Each was provided a report and toolkit customized for their property. The report cited areas for improvement, described best practices for management of the yard, and provided professional guidance for establishing bioswales, retention ponds or other solutions to reduce the chance of contamination.
Seven of the participating facilities implemented their site specific recommendations and will receive certificates of recognition as well as gate signs, window decals and website logos recognizing them for their efforts and promoting their use of those best management practices.
“The work to improve our waterways today and for future generations will never stop, but many hands make light work,” said Mayor Michael P. Bell. “The participation of these private businesses to reduce contamination of the Ottawa River and protect the waterway shows a commitment to our local environment and a commitment to be a good citizen in this community. I appreciate their effort and the work of our partners at TMACOG and Tetra Tech.”
The salvage yards recognized include: Cherry Picked Auto Parts; Nationwide Auto Parts; Northtown Auto Parts; OmniSource; R & M Recycling; Rada & Sons, and Westwood Auto Parts.
The program is unique to the region and was made possible thanks to a $270,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. EPA. The funds were granted to the City of Toledo. TMACOG provided technical assistance with geographical mapping and information. Tetra Tech will collect storm water samples upstream and downstream of scrap yards to determine the impacts of the program with corresponding reports.
For more information about the Toledo Salvage & Stewardship program, please visit http://tmacog.org/Scrapyard/salvage_steward_2012.htm.