A barge too far: Ohio River proposal facing backlash from environmental group, Evansville City Council

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Every day, hundreds of thousands of people rely on water from the Ohio River for necessary tasks like drinking, cleaning, and cooking. But after a proposal by Henderson company Meuth Construction Supply to the Army Corps of Engineers, an environmental group is raising concerns for the quality of the water.

The plan would call for a dredging area complete with a fleeting space for up to 45 barges near Inland Marina, within eyesight of downtown Evansville. Valley Watch President John Blair says the proposal should concern anyone who wants to protect the Ohio River, including recreational boaters, environmentalists, and anyone who drinks the water.

While industry is nothing new to the Ohio River, Blair says the proposal is the result of a desire to “get rich quick.” Blair says it’s time for the City to take care of the River, which he considers the city’s “main asset.”

Evansville City Councilman Zac Heronemus (D) says the City Council is preparing to vote on a measure next month, calling for public hearings on the project. While the project’s fate lies with the Army Corps of Engineers and technically lies in Kentucky water, Heronemus says the issue is important to Evansville. Heronemus notes the project could create undue pressure on the city’s levee and potentially release toxins into the air.

Eyewitness News reached out to Meuth Construction Supply, but did not receive a response.

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