Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Polensek Wants EPA to Figure Out What the Heck is Wrong with Euclid Beach Water Quality

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge Euclid Beach, December, 2013. - DOUG BROWN / SCENE
  • Doug Brown / Scene
  • Euclid Beach, December, 2013.
Monday night, Cleveland City Council passed a resolution sponsored by councilman Mike Polensek asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to get to the bottom of why the city's east side beaches seem to have such a bad E.Coli problem.

Both Villa Angela and Euclid Beach were closed to swimmers on Labor Day, and Polensek says he's fed up with the continuous swimming bans.

“Something is wrong," Polensek said in a press release last week. "We need the U.S. EPA to come here and tell us what the problem is.”

Polensek pointed out that unlike Huntington or Edgewater or Mentor Headlands or Fairport Harbor, Villa Angela and Euclid Beach seem to have unsafe E.Coli levels even in "bone dry" conditions, when it hasn't rained for weeks. 

“Our lake is in peril,” he said. “The federal government needs to get to the source of this pollution and help us make our lakefront safe and enjoyable for our families.”

Polensek has been butting heads with Metroparks leadership about Euclid Beach all summer — over lifeguards, over an absurd "no body contact with water" policy, and now over the swimming bans. He told Scene in a phone call Thursday that his frustration level is "very high." But it's not just with the Metroparks. He said local and national politicians, and the media, must make the health of the Great Lakes a priority. 

"It's 2015 and our lake is sick," he said. "This is becoming a national embarrassment. I went out to Toledo and the lake was like pea green soup. We saw what happened when Toledo was without water for three days. Who's to say what would happen if that algae bloom came all the way to Cleveland?" 

Polensek said he's tired of excuses.

"I've heard it's about illegal tie-ins, I've heard it's about industrial waste, I've heard it's geese," Polensek said. "Well, if it's geese, let's get the EPA in here to figure out what to do about it. All I know is something is terribly wrong, and our disrespect for the lake is coming back to haunt us in a big way." 

The Metroparks, for its part, issued a statement calling Lake Erie a "vital natural resource," and said it would support "all initiatives to protect the health of Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes." 

As for the EPA's timeline and potential investigation, Metroparks said it really couldn't comment. 

Polensek said Senator Sherrod Brown has reached out directly to the EPA and is awaiting correspondence. Polensek hasn't yet heard from Senator Rob Portman and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, to whom he also appealed.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation