New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

January 14, 2014

FirstEnergy takes action on Mahoning River

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

It seems so often we read about corporations not doing their part when it comes to the environment.

Well, last summer I had the opportunity to witness just the opposite.

FirstEnergy Corp. worked with us on the Mahoning River, one mile below Lowellville, a few hundred yards from the Pennsylvania state line.

After a request from a newly formed, ever-growing group — Mahoning River Paddlers — and without hesitation, FirstEnergy removed 12 concrete piers that spanned across the river that had served as a rail line/low head dam. Logs and debris were constantly piling up against the piers, creating a dead trap for approaching paddlers.

FirstEnergy, realizing its responsibility to safety and the environment, and as river traffic continues to increase, worked with Lowellville to remove the dam located in the village this summer. FirstEnergy removed all 12 piers and 30-plus semi trailer loads of logs and debris. It also restored severely eroding river banks, costing millions of dollars.

Today, when you paddle that section of the river you experience a park-like setting. To reference this, go to YouTube, type “Mahoning River.” A six-minute video has been created, showing before, during and completed footage.

People can see how FirstEnergy had taken the first major step to clean the lower Mahoning River for future generations to experience and enjoy.

Chuck Miller,

member,

Mahoning River Paddlers

Boardman, Ohio

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