Gorge Dam Removal Moves Forward with $10 Million Contribution from FirstEnergy Subsidiary Ohio Edison
AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 25, 2023 -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary Ohio Edison is contributing $10 million to expedite removal of the Gorge Dam, marking a major stride toward unlocking substantial environmental, economic and recreational benefits for communities along the Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio. This significant investment supports the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Summit Metro Parks' plan for sediment management and habitat restoration that is expected to begin next year.
For more information on the Gorge Dam removal and updates on the project's progress, visit bit.ly/freethefalls.
The Gorge Dam was built in 1911 by Northern Ohio Traction & Light – which later became Ohio Edison. It operated as a hydroelectric power plant until 1958 and later provided cooling water for a coal-fired power plant until 1992. While the power plant was dismantled years ago, the dam remains the only barrier keeping the Cuyahoga River from flowing freely between Kent, Ohio, and the mouth of Lake Erie.
Amanda Mertens Campbell, vice president of External Affairs at FirstEnergy: "This exciting project has been many years in the making, with FirstEnergy playing a key role in the planning and support. Our contribution toward the safe and sustainable removal of this dam is a testament to FirstEnergy's commitment to living its core value of stewardship. The dam's deconstruction requires extensive collaboration between governmental entities and the community, and this contribution exemplifies FirstEnergy's dedication to enhancing the quality of life as well as our environment in the communities we serve."
Before the Gorge Dam can be safely deconstructed, the removal and safe disposal of approximately one million cubic yards of sediment accumulated behind the dam is necessary. Project partners are finalizing the engineering plans for sediment removal and plan to begin this phase of the project in 2024.
Summit Metro Parks Executive Director Lisa King: Moving this project forward is a huge milestone for the entire state. In addition to improving water quality, removing the dam and the sediment behind it will restore the original grandeur of the Gorge, creating a vibrant future for the river, its watershed and its people. That future will provide clean water, natural beauty, recreational opportunities and economic development for all to enjoy.
In addition to FirstEnergy's contribution, funding for the dam removal project is being sourced from various levels of government, including federal, state and local entities, with contributions from the U.S. EPA through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
FirstEnergy's dedication to responsible corporate citizenship is evident in its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The company's environmental justice policy reflects its genuine concern for the equitable treatment of all communities, particularly those disproportionately affected by environmental challenges.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
News Media Contact: Lauren Siburkis, (330) 203-8850 or Investor Contact: Irene Prezelj, (330) 384-3859